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Science writer: Academia is in meltdown

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

And, he says, there is no nice way to put it:

A new survey by Gallup shows that only 48% of U.S. adults have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in academia, down from 57% in 2015. And it’s not just due to partisanship; confidence has fallen among people of all political persuasions.

While it is true that confidence has fallen the most among Republicans (17 points), it’s also down among Independents (4 points) and Democrats (6 points). Alex Berezow, “Confidence In Academia Falls Nine Points In Three Years” at American Council on Science and Health

Here’s the survey. About the only group enjoying a lot of confidence are the military and small business.

Pollsters are not mindreaders, of course, and we don’t know what would happen if the respondents were subdivided differently (employed vs. unemployed, for example).

Berezow offers some possible causes but notes that asking for the causes is like asking “How many rocks are there”?

And meanwhile, if social justice warriors succeed with their demands for  “change” in hard sciences, we can hardly expect them to remain immune from what felled the social sciences.

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See also: Rob Sheldon on why so many sciences seem to be devolving – not just social sciences

and

Stephen Hawking’s final paper, just released, tackled the “information paradox” Looking at his career overall, one wonders whether Stephen Hawking will be seen as the end of an era, one in which naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” appeared, at least, to work.

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