Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 23 Issue 04

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Volume 23, No. 4
Pages 162 - 164

THE OCEANOGRAPHY CLASSROOM • A Sum of All Knowledge, or A Knowlege of All Sums?

Simon Boxall
First Paragraph

A while ago, I had coffee with an old colleague who now teaches oceanography in college to 18-year-olds. She told me she was discussing the basics of navigation when a student put his hand up and asked, “excuse me, but what is the meaning of sin?” Somewhat perplexed as to why a student should be bringing philosophy and ethics into science at such an early stage in his career, she asked him to clarify the question. “Well, you’ve written sin and cos all over the board—what does that mean?” In a chuckle of disbelief, she asked, “Does anyone else not know what sin and cos are?” Half the members of the class raised their hands.


Boxall, S. 2010. The oceanography classroom: A sum of all knowledge, or a knowlege of all sums? Oceanography 23(4):162–164, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.16.