Will handwriting live on in Science and Engineering?

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Offline evan_au

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I've just listened to a discussion about whether schools should continue to teach kids handwriting, given that there are so many technical alternatives these days (eg texting, tablet computers, etc).

But in Science & Engineering, there is no really easy way to represent equations. Tools that support equations (like this website, or Microsoft products) almost expect you to learn a language or use a complex GUI to create the equations - not nearly as easy as scrawling them by hand on paper or a whiteboard!

And communication in Science and Engineering is really facilitated by drawing a diagram with some arrows and letters and numbers. You can't really do that with a keyboard, and it's not even very easy with a mouse.

So will handwriting live on in Science and Engineering long after most people have decided to ignore it as an obsolete technology?
Or could it be subsumed under the banner of "art" - it carries the benefit of learning fine motor skills, without necessarily needing a practical application?

See: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/handwriting/6738520
(The web-page takes 30 seconds; the podcast is 22 minutes.)
« Last Edit: 03/09/2016 10:40:46 by chris »


Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Will handwriting live on in Science and Engineering?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2016 12:02:57 »
There are collections holding digitised copies of handwritten corresponence exchanged between the prominent scientists of the past. These shed more light on their work, interactions and collaborations than scientific papers ever could. Would this still be the case with email correspondence? Ideas cannot be computerised. No matter what computer scientists say. As Evan points out. The freedom to express is facilitated by a keyboard.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.