The White House has called on federal agencies and departments to improve the ability of government scientists to openly discuss their research and findings with media, policy makers, and the public. Some agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation, have put forward policies that encourage such communication.
Government scientists should be able to alert the public when their research indicates a potential public health, safety, or environmental hazard.
Strange that we should NEED such a call to listen to science. Our whole world of inventions and weaponry , space travel and architecture, astronomy, road design, medicine, comfortable furnishings, computers, fabrics, mailing materials, machinery, building safe structures, growing more food per acre, improvements in glass, car safety, new technologies be it a bicycle or a car medical device have been invented or strengthened by scientific testing and investigation. We live every day with the things science has made possible. We, as a country, used to lead the way in scientific discoveries and investigation. Now we are #17 in the world. Such a long fall from dominance.
How did we turn into a society that denies the overwhelming evidence of climate change? It has hurt us as a country financially and in leadership around the world.
Part of it stems from the conflicted discoveries that appear to undermine religion. Red states with high numbers of fundamental religions, are where most climate deniers and anti science attitudes come from. Yet, many scientists believe in God and have religious beliefs.
The truth and nature of the world, which includes people, is a factual, solid place, not changed by science, but understood by science. However, people are more comfortable in their own beliefs and somehow feel it affects their self esteem if what they have believed for most of their life is challenged.
Uneducated people regard scientists as some elite, arrogant class of know-it-alls that live off the taxpayers and deserve trashing. In fact scientists don’t make a lot of money. They have houses, a salary and spend into the private economy and pay taxes just like everyone else unless they work within a mega corporation where they can make better money. Where they buy houses, buy into the private economy and pay taxes like everyone else.
Scientists provide the infrastructure for great companies to succeed and compete. They are necessary to our capitalistic economy. And suspicions that they are liberals with an agenda to sway the public in some sort of conspiracy would take thousands and thousands of scientists to agree to a shady plan. It is unreal, untrue and unfortunate for all of us that such anti-scientific attitudes have been promoted and enhanced by politicians for their own gain. It is up to each of us to confront that attitude when we see it if we want to be the America we grew up with.
Well said Mary. I know it seems that we are living in a time driven by polar opposites and that there is a desire on the part of many to move us to a theocracy.
But, I wonder, if it has always been so to one degree or another? We know historically that religions have played a very heavy role in governments around the world with horrible consequences.
That said, it would seem that there is a pendulum attempting to swing us back towards that direction.