Wired.com: Why is it important for people to care about science?
Brian Greene: When you look around at the opportunities that we have and the problems that we face, from climate change to stem cells to alternative energies to the possibilities of personalized messenger, all of these are scientific at the core. And if you don’t have a population that’s going to engage with some of the underlying science, then you’re starting to fray away at the edges of democracy. How can a society make decisions about so many science-based issues if the populace doesn’t know science?
And when you talk to kids, and they realize how spectacular science is, how different it is from what they learn in the classroom, you see a whole world, literally a whole universe, open up to them. Those are the moments when I feel that it’s something crucial. (more)
If we don’t understand science–and all other complex topics, like math–how will our representatives understand
- how the economy works
- whether there is global warming or global cooling
- the meanderings of a 2000+page bill
…enough to make well-reasoned decisions that serve the best interests of our democratic society?
You say, our Congresspeople will figure it out. They’re smart. How many actually believe that anymore:
Congresspeople aren’t even required to have a college degree–how can they understand the machinations of a 2000+ Health Care bill, and the macro-economics of a capitalist economy? Have we reached the tipping point, where there are no longer enough smart people in Congress to offset the dummies?
Are we Humpty Dumpty falling off of our democratic capitalist wall? I hope there’s a big sponge down there.