Who Cares About Science?

The world renown astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, “the good thing about science is that it’s true whether you believe in it or not.” Personally I love this quote and I think it puts a very humorous twist on a pretty dire situation we face as a society today.

I don’t think it would be possible to specify a specific reason as to why there is such a divide between the scientifically literate and those who struggle with understanding the professional jargon. However as a result, the extremists on both sides often times associate a stigma towards the other party. A good example of this is examined in the text Unscientific America, written by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, in reference to the importance of communicating with the public it states, “Presumably, they (the scientists) feel they have more important things to do. They don’t.” (Unscientific America, pg.35) It definitely helps emphasize the importance on communicating between the science professionals and the rest of society.

Unscientific America also talks about the monumental role Carl Sagan played as a: “skilled communicator, a master at connecting with ordinary people, and explaining science in terms they could understand.” (Unscientific America, pg. 33) Because of my personal interest in science I was aware of Carl Sagan and some of his contributions before reading this, but I am did find it interesting to discover more of the government’s role in aiding/obstructing Sagan’s attempts to reach the general public and get them interested in the study of the world around them.

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

-Carl Sagan

Although the above quote is concerning and very accurate, but for now lets focus on the actual writing itself. One of the reasons I like this quote, and many of Sagan’s quotes, is because it is short, sweet, and to the point. He was always able to get his idea across in a very clear manner that an enormous audience can interpret. Now let’s return to the other point; it also highlights the fact that some of us do indeed still have to become professionals in a scientific field for our world to continue to progress and thrive.

This is a really cool video you can check out that acts as a great example of how Sagan communicates certain topics:

 

-Drew Sliger

 

 

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One thought on “Who Cares About Science?

  1. Scientists definitely have a responsibility to talk to people. It’s up to them to present information to people who may NOT be “classically trained” in the sciences in a way they can understand. While there is a responsibility for those people to be open to learning science (and eventually gaining more science literacy), we have to start small. Sagan was definitely a huge proponent in creating a broad reach for science. His work paved the way for people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse who use television and media to bring science into the home of every person.

    Kaylin Brodzki

    Like

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