Sunday, February 16, 2014
www.culturalcognition.net - Cultural Cognition Blog - The declining authority of science? (Science of Science Communication course, Session 3)
www.culturalcognition.net - Cultural Cognition Blog - The declining authority of science? (Science of Science Communication course, Session 3):
2. Well, what are they talking about? But before examining the explanations for the growing resistance to the authority of science, it’s useful to interrogate the premise: why exactly would anyone worry that the authority of science is seriously in doubt in American society?
Pew did an amazingly thorough and informative survey in 2009 and concluded “Americans like science.” They “believe overwhelmingly that science has benefited society and has helped make life easier for most people.”
This sentiment, moreover, is pretty widespread. “Partisans largely agree on the beneficial effects of science,” the Pew Report continues, “with 88% of Republicans, 84% of independents and 83% of Democrats saying the impact is mostly positive. There are differences—though not large—tied to race, education, and income.”
“[L]arge percentages,” too, “think that government investments in basic scientific research (73%) and engineering and technology (74%) pay off in the long run.” Again, this is not something that generates meaningful political divisions.
Data collected over three decades' time by the NSF suggests that this 2009 picture from Pew is a but a frame in a thirty-year moving picture that shows -- well, a stationary object. Americans love science for all the wonderful things it does for them, want government to keep funding it, and have for decades.
Posted by JOlmsted at 6:43 AM