Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Science and Society
Two articles worth noting for all scientists.
Oh science and religion. Will you two ever get along? A speech by the Pope is being protested in Italy by the scientific community there due to comments made about Galileo's trial by the church. Wired has the scoop.
And a little closer to home, and MUCH overdue idea may finally be realized. There is a push for a science related debate among presidential candidates in the US elections. Holy crap! What can politicians say when they are forced to use actual facts? There is a major downside to this, though. If this debate becomes a mainstay, the politicization of science will be in full effect. In other words, right now both parties site a statistic and toss a softball at the opposing party, usually in the form on some minor factoid. If things move in this direction, we're talking a concerted effort by special interest groups to skew data. On top of that, by politicizing science, science itself becomes less trusted in the public's eyes, which means more troubles with funding and policy decisions. Do we really want people thinking, "Oh, I would agree with this finding, but I know you're in the pocket of Big Tectonics, so I assume there is an agenda here." Either way, I'm excited that this might go forward THIS YEAR. Again, Wired has the 411.