By: Allison Johnson
Looking back upon these past few months and what we have read and discussed, I know my perception of the world has changed. Is reality for warped and bleak? Absolutely not. However, I cannot deny that this course has planted inceptive seeds in my mind. I took this course for an interdisciplinary requirement for my degree in Statistics. I thought it would give me a break from my math heavy schedule and provide me with some much needed left brain thought. Not to mention other interdisciplinary courses where things like vampires in literature and the evolution of sex, nothing that really spoke to me.
This course however has really opened my mind to different areas of interaction with the world, the public and myself that I would have never explored. I’ve always been health conscious… whatever that means. When reading Roxanne Parrott’s, Talking About Health, I really started understanding the importance of not only how medical and health research is conducted, but also how it is delivered and communicated. This has really stuck with me, as I aspire to one day hopefully be a biostatistician . I have spent much time recently contemplating the importance of not only how I would conduct my work and finding, but also how those findings would be interpreted and communicated to the public.
Upon reading Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, I was pushed further into reality with the unveiling of how disconnected the public and the scientific community are. With my love for all things science, and having used science and academia as my foundation for reality, it was hard to read and discuss the true divide between the these two groups of people. I have always assumed that the masses appreciated science, scientific discoveries and emerging research that pushes humanity forward. Unfortunately, that is not where we stand as a whole and it is only becoming easier to ignore opposing opinions and facts. When we have at our fingertips the ability to create and cultivate an alternate reality of self prescribed and induced advise, opinion and research it is hard to believe there is an alternate majority that sees the world so differently.
As easily referenced with the “Surprising” Trump Presidential candidacy win.
Julia B. Corbett’s, Communicating Nature: How we Create and Understand Environmental Messages, Showed me if nothing more how much of a sucker I am when it comes to greenwashing. The weekend before starting this book I had bought a fifteen dollar lunch bag that was in part made from plastic water bottles from Fresh Tyme. My huge environmentally conscious bubble burst when reading and discussing this book and topic. I feel that I learned the most from this last section, especially when it comes to the “what can I do” aspect of climate change and environmental issues at large.
Over all, what I walked away from is that maybe there isn’t an easy fix to climate change. Why should there be? Is it realistic to think we can have our cake and not clean our plate. I have always been a big believer in delayed gratification. The idea that the “work” has to be done and it’s best to do it upfront. Like with procrastination the task at hand becomes more daunting the longer you put if off, and that I believe is what we are facing with Climate change policies, carbon taxes and overall accountability of the matted.
We are a nation of procrastination and I hope we grow up and become realistic and effective before it’s too late.