When was the last time you read a book about science? Or listened to a science program or science podcast? Or watched a TV program about science?
Science is perhaps the most important influence in shaping our world and our lives. It’s not just physics and chemistry either; it covers Natural Science, Social Sciences, Formal Sciences and Applied Sciences. Everything from Applied Mathematics to Zoology.
We don’t consciously think about it, but every minute of every day people do things or use things that demonstrate their faith in science and scientists:
- Bungee jumping
- The world wide web
And the list goes on and on.
Because of science we know how evolution works, how planets and sub-atomic particles work, what the universe looks like and how it probably started, why we have earthquakes and tides, night and day and the seasons.
Science can look into the past and tell us with some reliability about the future. It can tell us about dinosaurs and droughts, flood and famine, ethics and etymology.
Despite this, when you look at surveys of how much the public trusts various professions, scientists strangely don’t make the top five or even top 10. However every profession that is more highly regarded depends on science for its existence and success.
In case you’re wondering, politicians and telemarketers are down the bottom of these surveys.
So who do you trust more: scientists or politicians?
If you want to know how ebola is transmitted or what causes global warming, should you listen to a politician or a scientist?
And here’s a tip for you: next time someone on social media tells you about some new miracle cure or revolutionary diet, just say, “Show me the science.”
Here are some resources for getting closer to science:
ABC: The Science Show presented by Robyn Williams
ABC: Ockham’s Razor
ABC: All In The Mind
ABC: Health Report
BBC: 5 Live Science
The Philosophers’ Mail
ABC Health & Wellbeing:
All the ABC and BBC programs are podcast, so just search in your favourite podcast app.