Face the Facts, Science is Real.

This past week in class, we have been learning about Science vs. Society, and Scientific Literacy.  We’ve been studying how society perceives themselves as scientifically literate.  To quote the famous, astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, “No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.”  I truly find myself favoring this quote because I feel that this speaks to the American society.  Although when you pick up a scientific magazine while waiting for the dentist let’s say, have you ever felt that what you are reading is almost incomprehensible, or the article is benign to your knowledge?

In the world of 2016, we have a lot of scientific and environmental issues arises and progressively getting worse.  Global warming, climate change, these are the issues we should be facing to work as a society to fix.  Though most Americans feel that these aren’t a problem, they’re just hoaxes.  We’re almost coming to a bridged gap of generations where people still hold onto their core traditional beliefs from the 50’s, 60’s and some 70’s that believe everything is fine, we just need to recycle or keep our water cleaner.  Even today there are people who will argue till they are blue in the face that they have seen the “facts and data” and that everything is fine.

This is where I feel what we have been learning is by far the most important topic this year.  Bridging this gap between the scientific population and modern society’s population.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a debate or just an educated discussion on global warming or our planet and I’ve been asked to, “dumb it down” or my favorite, “can you say that again, but in English?”  Scientists seemed to be walled apart from society as we learned and this can be hurtful.  Of course not everyone can be on the same level, or caught up with current events.  Though when we drop barriers and can find ways to communicate and spread the information between one another, that’s when we can start doing some good.

I’ve also learned that depending on who is preaching the information makes all the difference.  For instance, I find it surprising that some people don’t know who Neil Degrasse Tyson is but they know instantly, who Bill Nye the science guy is.  One is an actual astrophysicist who declared Pluto was not a planet, while the other is a science educator, who did science experiments for a television show.  Another example, which just happened a couple of days ago is Leonardo DiCaprio.  Popular with society as a celebrity, well known actor, famous for multiple Oscar nominations and films.  But after he won his first Oscar and thanked his staff and friends, he made a very educated speech.  He took the time to let everyone know that climate change is real and that we need to act now to save our planet.  Now here is a man who is not a science educator or astrophysicist, but an actor.  Millions of people watch the Oscar’s every year and to think how many people he just jump started into googling global warming, or even asking their friends what they know is brilliant.

 

-Matthew Wurzelbacher

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4 thoughts on “Face the Facts, Science is Real.

  1. I didn’t watch the award show so I didn’t see Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech. I found it very interesting that he did so, but I admire him for doing so. I don’t know a lot about him but many people do and he has a lot of influence (right or wrong we will leave for another time) over many other people, even including science professionals. Interesting post!

    -Drew Sliger

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  2. Great post. Something that really stood out to me was when you said, “I find it surprising that some people don’t know who Neil Degrasse Tyson is but they know instantly, who Bill Nye the science guy is.” This makes me laugh, because it’s so true. I can honestly say I don’t know who Neil Degrasse Tyson is, but low and behold, I can sing the entire theme song to Bill Nye the Science Guy. I feel like part of this I can contribute to my high school. Now that I think about it, we never really learned about many influential scientists from history, but low and behold, we didn’t miss one episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, even as seniors.

    -Jocelyn Scott

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  3. I like how you included Leo into that last little bit. I thought it was wonderful how he received his first Oscar and was not so much focusing on the award itself, but pressing issues today in the world. This is very similar to what Neil Young has done with some of his performances. Climate change is something that is absolutely real and definitely not something to be ignored.

    Mike Montague

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  4. Well for starters Bill Nye has a theme song. So of course people are going to know him. Also It is true that those that don’t ask stay clueless for life but at the same time we have to remember there a stigma for asking question and the fear of looking dumb. That and the fear of being yelled at for not understanding. I’ve been there and I sure other have to.

    Danny Wells

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