By Sarah Burris | 11 October 2015
If there’s one thing that distinguishes the enlightened from the rube, it is science. It seems nowadays, the more insane you are, the less you believe in science. Our vast strides in medicine, technology, astronomy, and physics, have all come at the hands of the curious genius.
The below viral web video entitled, “War on Science,” walks through the history of science and the sad ways in which the world once punished scientists. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for proposing that the Earth was not the center of the Universe as The Bible once taught. Today, that looks more like anti-science cloaked in righteousness. Whether climate deniers, anti-vaxxers, or anti-Darwinists who think Jesus lived with the dinosaurs, our world is an ever-evolving place filled with people who refuse to evolve.
“When we look to history,” the video says, “we see that ignoring science has lead to the crumbling of societies.”
Public funding of science is at an all time low. We may even be entering a new Dark Age where reason is rejected and curiosity is stifled for cheaper options. Thanks to budget cuts to NASA we won’t even be collecting climate data, the video says. Not that Congress would ever listen to it anyway.
Did you know, the bailout of the big banks cost as much as funding NASA for 50 years? Just one month of military spending in the United States is as much as funding a year of NASA.
In Canada, research libraries are being shut down and the protection of endangered species is no longer a concern all while 80 percent of Canada’s fresh water fish species going extinct. At the same time the government has eliminated the role of the National Science Advisor and 2,500 scientists have lost their jobs, but the most disappointing is that 25 percent of government scientists have felt pressure to change their research.
Governments want to spend money today on science that has a clear commercial outcome, but so much of science hasn’t had a real outcome. Research can create a number of things that that we don’t yet have a use for. The space program in the U.S. is responsible for so many inventions like velcro, memory foam, insulation, water filters, scratch resistant lenses, freeze drying, insulin pumps, treadmills, CatScans, infrared ear thermometers, aircraft de-icing systems, technology that can safely destroy land mines, solar panels and smoke detectors. Those are just some that we know about.
It’s unclear what people seek from this war on science. Are they somehow preventing science from advancing because they fear that it will disprove the existence of God? Are they jealous of people who are smarter than them?
In January, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, wrote an op-ed in Politico where he said,
“Unfortunately, in recent years, the federal government has awarded taxpayer dollars toward research that few Americans would consider to be in the national interest. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and are focused on national priorities. In the new Congress, Republicans, the party of limited government, should propose legislation to eliminate the funding of wasteful projects—and focus on smart investments instead.”
I don’t want the general public deciding what is or isn’t worth researching. As Neil deGrasse Tyson has said, there are no scientists in Congress. Having a bunch of lawyers determine what is worth researching is not only a bad idea, it’s a reckless one that could prevent actual progress. We also run the risk of more private money being put into research that has a capitalist gain. When that happens, we end up with people like the Big Pharma Douche who jacked up the price of the HIV/AIDS medication.
So, how about we agree we need more money for science more research?
Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook