While I’m a strong advocate of science communication and outreach, I do find it somewhat odd that we need to continuously prove our value in the face of:
- Demonstrable evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines,
- Demonstrable benefits of technology and science in increasing quality of life and life-span,
- And, conversely, the taking for granted of some other aspects of society that don’t have to prove their worth, such as the amount spent on national defence (I’m for defence but how much to spend?).
Despite this, anti-vaccine movements, denial of global warming and taudry examples of pseudoscience are proliferating. What level of evidence is necessary and would it have significant impact on those who would rather believe in conspiracy theories and fake news?
I could argue that the faux news phenomenon is the best example of why we have to spend more effort in countering ignorance of science, but it would be nice if political leadership took the lead. Indeed, it beats me why some people are able to hold the such disdain for scientific principles yet are perfectly willing to trust the very same scientific principles when they board an aircraft or browse their favourite pseudoscience celebrity website! What a world! :)