They often understand the value of science, but simply disagree that it is the most important priority. They look around their communities and see crumbling schools, pothole riddled streets, declining support for social and mental health services, declining state funding to Universities and skyrocketing tuitions, and declining trust in the reliability of utilities like water and power. When they consider the importance of these things for a strong, bright future for their children, they see science as only one small piece that must be considered.
Science — is it time to redefine the endless frontier?
Melissa Flagg

Hi Melissa,

Very much enjoyed the post!

My sense, however, is that many outside the science community hold a much deeper animus than what you describe.

True, some see science through a “meh, what does it do for me?” lens.

That doesn’t worry me.

What does worry me are those who believe the S&T community is directly responsible for causing the decay and inequality they now confront in their communities. Partly because Science and Silicon Valley have become synonymous, they see dollars spent on science and R&D not just as wasteful, but as dangerous to their way of life— with deeply negative results for everyone.

We can probably set aside those who see topics like climate science as a chance to relitigate the Scopes Trial. They won’t ever come around.

But to truly reach the persuadable ‘anti-science’ skeptics, the science community must not only gain an independent voice from Silicon Valley, but also get out of the ivory towers and clusters. They must become one with the economic fabric of those struggling communities.

Can’t wait to read your next post.