we're in trouble! - (2 points)

Przemko przemko at reks.uia.ac.be
Wed Jun 29 04:39:25 EST 1994

In article <2uqsc9$qch at apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> dan at cubsps.bio.columbia.edu (Dan Zabetakis) writes:
>In article <1994Jun29.004025.26110 at martha.utcc.utk.edu>,
> <ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu> wrote:
>>In Article <9406281315.ZM11768 at model.phr.utexas.edu>
>>  Needless to say we need
>>to do a better job of getting our work into popular media such as "discover,
>>Omni, and popular science" if the objective is to promote appreciation and
>>understanding of scientific research.

a lot cut out

Well, the other day I have learned from CNN that about 70% of people in the
Bible Belt believe in witchcraft as opposed to ONLY 50% (the capitals are mine)
in the North. The way the poll was presented was that 50% was OK and 70% not.
Can anyone tell me the difference? 50%!
Anyway, I think that that discussion took place before. Look at Hollywood
productions. Remember a movie with a "good" scientist? (or good and beneficial
science?). I don't. I think that what we have is combination of factors, people
do not associate calculators with progress of science altough without that science
we would be using an abacus.
They see science as a lost Mars observer, no cure for AIDS, tobacco companies
that do things that some of us cannot accept etc.
Nobody cares how magentic strips work but they get pissed off if they don't.
I think that desire to know things is in the person and not population and
although one needs taxpayers money to work and live, one cannot expect them
to actually follow what is done in research labs.
Forgot cold fusion? Well, maybe it works (jjapanese think so) maybe it doesn't
(majoruty thinks so). The line betweeen pseudoscience and science is thin and
perhaps even fractal, press does the rest.
Coming back to the public perception, if people do not trust scientists because
of bad past experiences (like A bomb tests on human subjects) they will transpose
it onto yeast genetics and put all of us into one basket. And if we say that
acid rain is caused by this or that, they will either not listen (oh, another 
bullshit) or not believe (oh, it is this or that industry that sponsors research)
Educating in primary schools will not change much.
So, what to do? I think, just go on...

my 2*10^2$ worth


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