Who is really anti-science?
|July 31, 2017||Posted by News under Culture, science education|
From science prof Darrin Durant at The Conversation:
Florida recently passed a law which “authorizes county residents to challenge use or adoption of instructional materials” in schools. It’s been described as “anti-science” by individual scientists and USA’s National Center for Science Education.
The National Center for Science Education is, among other things, the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby. For what that tends to mean, see Zombie Science.
In his book How to be Antiscientific, Steven Shapin argues that descriptions of science, and what ought to be done in science, vary tremendously among scientists themselves.
So you’re not anti-science if you have a preference for or against things like a preferred method, or some particular philosophy of science, or some supposed “character” of science.
Nor are you anti-science because you highlight the uncertainties, the unknowns and the conditionality of scientific knowledge. Even when you are the outsider to science. That’s called free speech in a democracy. More.
Durrant delineates the relationships between social groups and various sciences as fairly as one might expect.
Personally, I (O’Leary for News) think it is fairly simple: Few people are anti-science in the sense that, if their doctor tells them about a promising new cancer treatment, they won’t consider it out for themselves or a loved one. Most people are anti-science when environmentalists put them out of work, making quite clear in the process that they do not consider fellow human beings with crushed dreams to be part of the environment.
So most people treat science the way they treat economics or politics: How does it affect them and their loved ones?
See also: Parents questioning curricula? Must be “anti-science” at work
From Nature: US “Academic freedom” bills are “anti-science”