An oldie but a goodie:
We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Categories: ethics & philosophy, Science
Hah! I’ve just been reading his book The Demon-Haunted World. I won it in a game of Simon Says from the sci-fi/fantasy club I’m part of. SCIENCE AND REASONING AS A PRIZE. It’s a marvellous attitude.
Absolutely a marvellous attitude – and one of my favourite books.
simple answer – go to university. learn science and technology – and understand.
Not put scientists in chains especially not under the heel of politicians.
The point is that the most financially-rewarded careers are not those in science and technology, therefore students in a consumerist society doing a risk-benefit analysis will pragmatically choose careers perceived to have better financial return for years of study.
It’s no good preaching to the choir here about the value of science and technology. Lauredhel and I both hold applied science degrees and have been keen computer technology advocates for decades. How do we convince others that science and technology is important enough to learn and understand when society doesn’t value most science/technology degree-holders highly?
In a society that fetishes wealth, having science and technology as only-just-middle-class-income-level careers doesn’t encourage most smart young people to choose science or technology, even though every other wealth-creation mechanism in Western society depends on the science and technology keeping on going. This is nuts.
There’s also the class-based problem that a proper in-depth understanding of how science and technology works in our modern society pretty much requires an undergraduate degree these days. That limits numbers even further (as does non-compulsory maths & science education beyond Junior high school level).
Just read a good quote over at RealClimate.org from this longer article: Manufactroversy – The Art of Creating Controversy Where None Existed
Thre RealClimate.org article is looking at the tactics of manufactroversy in the Anthrop0genic Global Warming “debate”, where as one might expect there’s a plethora of denialists laying claim to the mantle of Galileo.