"To restore science to its rightful place"

February 1, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

It’s not that I’m infatuated with the words of Potus44, but Barack Obama’s inaugural address (that I’ve already addressed) hit quite a few notable notes. One of which was the promise to “restore science to its rightful place”. He also said,

“Promoting science isn’t just about providing Resources-it’s about protecting free and open inquiry… It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient.

That’s a breath of fresh air, indeed. But the real question and challenge will be: What exactly is this Rightful Place? The previous administration acted as though they believed that science belongs after political expedience and the Bible, not necessarily in that order. They fired or censored anyone whose carefully calculated conclusions disagreed with their prejudged opinions. It will be a long time cleaning up the resulting mess.

Mike the Mad Biologist posted: To Restore Science to Its Rightful Place, We Need to Redefine Elitism. In brief, science is not easy to follow once you reach the discoveries of The Enlightenment and beyond. It takes a certain amount of education and dedication to know good science from pseudoscience. And this is anathema to American principle of Democratic Populism, the idea that all men are not only “created equal”, but are in fact equal.

No one expects everyman to throw a 90 yard pass, yet everyone thinks they have as good an opinion as anyone else on complex issues, the actual understanding of which require serious study and a foundation of higher math. Everyone can expound on economics or cosmology. But some few people actually know which ideas are more valid than others. We need to pay more attention to these people; the scientists.

Science is a process, a filter. It is not just a list of discoveries and jargon. Science is about separating what we think from what is real. Science has vastly extended our lives, our understanding, our reach, and our grasp. Let’s use this tool wisely. Maybe we can pull out of our current nose dive, economically, culturally, and even as a species. Malthus wasn’t wrong; he just was premature.


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Category: Culture, Current Events, Economy, Education, Politics, Science, scientific method

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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