Re: The role of science in modern America

Phillip Bigelow (
Fri, 11 Oct 1996 18:53:44 -0700

David Sierra wrote:

> If anyone would care to submit a brief (3-6 setence) on either:

That is impossible task to ask me!

> What they feel the role of science in modern America is (popular culture,
> media perception, educational settings or interworkings of the scientific
> community)
> or
> What they feel the role of science in modern America SHOULD BE (same areas)

The second queston is more interesting to think about.
I'm not sure that science really has (or even SHOULD have) some
type of "role" to play in American culture. Rather, I think the
opposite is the case: Humanity should have a role to play in
promoting science.
Science is autonomous. It should stay autonomous. It will take
place whether culture wants it to or not. Occasionally, new
discoveries will undoubtably clash with cultural norms.
But humanity can take a greater part in promoting the
scientific method, in promoting skeptical-critical thinking,
and in promoting the criticism of the pseudo-science
epidemic that is infecting our culture. Society can also
start by putting it's money where it's mouth is: by funding
science better than it presently is funded.
Science doesn't need society's *sole* help in this endevour;
but it sure would make our planet a less divisive place on which
to live.