we're in trouble! - (2 points)

Dan Zabetakis dan at cubsps.bio.columbia.edu
Tue Jun 28 23:12:57 EST 1994


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.

  I don't think so. Omni is advertising a special about true alien visits, 
or some such. Any attempt to connect real science with that magazine will
only increase the believability of the pseudoscience it actually promotes.
   I'm afraid that it is just hopeless to promote understanding of science
among the general population. People appreciate the end products of
'technology', and will support development of products they buy. And to
a certain extent, they will support the government programs of basic
research. But I don't think we can expect more from them.
  Even scientists don't really understand what goes on in fields outside
thier own. If they follow other fields, they reduce it to a shorthand
of more or less popular summaries. Just as a physicist may be under
the impression that Steven Gould is a very important biologist, biologists
may think that physics is dominated by Carl Sagan. But the real
meaning of the work is a closed book.
  The general population has cares that differ from the highly educated
types you find in academia, so they will merely know less science. But
compared to a scientists knowledge outside thier field, a ramdom cotozen
only differs by degree of un-understanding.

DanZ

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