Delineation between Science and Society

science literacy

Science is an integral part of our world. In fact, we wouldn’t be here without science. We wouldn’t be living our quality of life, we wouldn’t know what we do, we couldn’t do what we do, without scientific exploration. However, even though science is tied so closely to the lives we live at present, it is still kept at a distance. Why is this?

Discussing science isn’t something you do at the dinner table, unless you come from a family of scientists. The average suburban household isn’t abuzz with the lively scientific debate or conversation. While we are so close to science every day, we remove ourselves from it. Science is viewed as too hard, or too confusing to understand. It seems daunting to think about all of the jargon and facts and research. It can get scary to some people, especially when they can’t understand what’s being said. No one likes to be out of the loop, or to feel unintelligent. So a line has been drawn. We go about our lives and we may see scientific discourse in the news or on television programs, but still, we don’t pay it much mind. As was discussed in class, science sections in major publications are shrinking or are nonexistent. Even when they are present, a large amount of American’s can even understand what they are reading or watching. While there are specifically scientific publications one wouldn’t imagine that they’re flying off the shelves faster than GQ or Vogue.

Here lies the problem. As a society we must cast aside our fear of science. Its stigmas need to be abolished. An example of science’s deteriorating foundations can be seen on a simple level. Just look at your television programming. Two very well known and established medium for scientific programming: Animal Planet, and The Discovery Channel, have undergone massive changes. They’ve gone from scientific programming, to shows about puppies and reality television.

 

It is a sad sight to see, especially in a world where scientific advancement is increasing exponentially every passing day. Especially, in a world where we can’t understand or appreciate how the objects that surround us every day work to enhance our lives.

At a base level, not understanding even simple scientific method can deprive a person of so much knowledge. People can’t even understand public health messages that will benefit them because their mathematic and scientific literacy is so poor. It is time that this rift be mended and science be championed instead of turned away from. It is not just to maintain the integrity of science but to provide people with the basic necessity of understanding and interpreting their world instead of ignoring it because it requires them to think. As a society we cannot allow science to become more ignored than understood.

Austin Boland

 

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5 thoughts on “Delineation between Science and Society

  1. I believe that a large part of the reason people avoid scientific explanations is because often they don’t want to believe the truth. People really don’t want to know how many brain cells they’re losing from talking on their cell phone every day because they have already accepted the fact that cell phones are a necessity to their every day life. This is the same reason people don’t read nutrition labels or question climate change. It goes back to what we talked about at the beginning of the year about who is responsible for our health? For most people, they steer clear of scientific reasoning to avoid the realization that the individual holds a large amount of responsibility for their own health as well as global health. This is not to say that the media couldn’t do a better job of providing more scientific information, but in the end it doesn’t matter when the demand is just not there.

    -Jordan Cotleur

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  2. Sorry in advance for sounding pessimistic, but frankly I think the bulk of people avoid the topic of science due to laziness and desiring safe convenience over uncomfortable knowledge. It is obvious that we couldn’t be living the lives that we do if it weren’t for the work of scientists, but through the innovations that have made our lives easier, we have created a sort of bubble that shelters us from desiring a deeper understanding of the world around us, and so it becomes part of the convenient lifestyle to disregard science and focus on the reality shows.

    Diana Bolton

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  3. If people were exposed to science more, then it wouldn’t come off as being to hard, or impossible to figure out. The problem is that people isolate themselves from the complications of science, but if they were more open to figuring out the problems, then it wouldn’t appear so hard

    Abigail Cain

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  4. It is really scary how little people discuss scientific advances and research. I think part of this reflects the reality that the majority of the media does not discuss science either. Articles about research studies are a lot more difficult to find than articles about a review of the Kardashian’s latest hairstyles and much trickier to read. While scientific journals definitely need to make enough money to maintain themselves, I think that if research articles were made more available it could considerably benefit our society.
    Alexis Wilsey

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  5. I’m a little torn in that I’m not sure how the future will fare in terms of scientific awareness. Some of my observations lead me to believe that our society will continue to ignore the scientific community and continue to remain distanced from the realities of it all. However, I’ve also noticed some positive trends in encouraging young children and even adults to get involved and be interested in science. Many movies, TV shows, TV personalities, and other forms of entertainment are using their position as a platform to promote scientific awareness. It’s tough to say how effective these will really be.

    Josh Maddux

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