Those following the US Presidential flirting may be interested in Science Debate 2008 campaign. Janet Stemwedel has comments on why it isn’t a matter of knowing facts. Science matters, but why does it matter? Steve Grand had the answer back in 2004.
When I become king, my first act will be to ban the word “science” from all public places. No more will advertisements be allowed to say “here comes the science bit”, as a prelude to 15 seconds of meaningless twaddle. No longer will innocent nerds on natural yoghurt ads find themselves lured into soporific conformity by pretty young women with a fetish for the word “bacteria”. Above all, showing thinly disguised disaster movies under the Horizon banner, as if they were actually science broadcasting, will henceforth become a crime punishable by death. No, make that slow mutilation.
Perhaps we should replace the word “science” with “citizenship”. Anyone who doesn’t show a proper interest in the world around them is hardly taking their role as a citizen of the universe seriously. There’s a lot of stuff out there to marvel at, and for an intelligent human being to remain ignorant of it is a deep insult to our own species, let alone the rest of nature. So let’s get on and marvel at it for heaven’s sake: we’re not here for long.