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NYT Article Featuring Faculty Member David Anderegg Stirs Debate

Jan 06, 2010
When a New York Times reporter reached out to psychology faculty member David Anderegg for a story on America's need for more "cool nerds"—young people who can meld computing skills with other fields—Anderegg pointed out one obvious problem.

In America, the phrase "cool nerds" is an oxymoron.

"A geek suggests a person with special expertise, while nerd suggests social ineptness ... neither are cool."

Because of the brainy stereotypes associated with courses in math, science, and computer science, Anderegg said, young people "sabotage themselves in these fields, and the nation's work force is suffering."

Anderegg, who authored the book Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them, said the answer to this problem "is to put to bed [the words] 'nerd' and 'geek.'"

 The story, which can be read here, has sparked debate on news sites and blogs (including his own) around the world.   

For more on David Anderegg, click here.