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trust in science at an all time low

Well, the validity of science may not rest on people's trust... But funding does.

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 Quote by Pythagorean Well, the validity of science may not rest on people's trust... But funding does.
leading to scenarios of: how much funding do you need to prove this?

 Regardless of their political or religious beliefs, the general public views science through the filter of the sensationalist, largely ignorant media. Parallel universes, the God particle, the theory of everything, dark energy, dark matter, wormholes, artificial intelligence; these terms are tossed around like they were facts of life. None of them have been directly observed; some of them will NEVER be observed. The very names of some of them (God particle, Theory of Everything) are understandably inflammatory to a religious person. They translate to: "We know more than you do. In fact, we know everything!". That isn't science, that is arrogance. The true motive for these sexy names is to maintain interest and keep the funding going. Nothing wrong with that. There are two groups who have faith in things that they do not understand. Not all scientists are in the first group and not all the religious in the second, but to the extremists of both camps: When you believe in things that you don't understand Then you suffer Superstition ain't the way Stevie Wonder

 Quote by AlephZero True, but technology (which depends on science) depends for its acceptance on the trust of the people. You can make an argument that science without technology is an intellectual activity worth doing for its own sake, but unless it's applied to something it is no more than that.
 Quote by Pythagorean Well, the validity of science may not rest on people's trust... But funding does.
Science will always be funded by ambitious entities that wish to push the bounds of their current state. Whether it is a government entity, private investors, or some private company, science research will always be funded in terms of the business. Universities will also be funded via government, and the conservatives cannot change that unless they wish to decline the U.S. further and have its technology outpaced by the Middle East.

Conserving the old ways of doing things leaves you stagnant while the rest of the world advances. That is why I made the statement of science not needing peoples trust, as it has no use of it, either people use it and see advances made, or don't and remain stagnant and see their country-folk flee to other advanced societies.

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 Quote by phoenix:\\ Science will always be funded by ambitious entities that wish to push the bounds of their current state. Whether it is a government entity, private investors, or some private company, science research will always be funded in terms of the business. Universities will also be funded via government, and the conservatives cannot change that unless they wish to decline the U.S. further and have its technology outpaced by the Middle East.
 At school level, America continues to slip in the international rankings and now comes below 20th in maths and science. In terms of higher education, it is slipping even faster. Just a generation ago, the US had the highest proportion of graduates in the world. Now it is 16th. Most [American] people cannot get secure, well-paid jobs any longer. The top 1% captured 93% of the income gains in 2010. The remaining 99% were either treading water or seeing falling incomes. This includes those with an undergraduate or vocational degrees, whose incomes have not budged in real terms since 2001. Only post-graduates and those with PhDs have seen income growth since then. Income mobility, once America's greatest exception, is not wallowing at sub-European levels. Apple may now be worth more than any company in the world. But the future flow of ideas, and the spread of R&D, is globalizing. So too is American-educated talent. The Washington of earlier decades would have stapled green cards to foreign graduate degrees. Nowadays, having recieved a subsidised technical education, the world's brightest students are put on a plane and sent back home. Fear trumps hope. As US commentator Fareed Zakaria remarked, "Every visa officer today lives in fear that he will let in the next Mohamed Atta. As a result, he is probably keeping out the next Bill Gates". Unsurprisingly, much of the action is therefore shifting with the IQs, whether that is to Singapore, Canada, Germany, or China. Roughly 3/4 of US private R&D comes from manufacturing companies, which now account for barely 10% of the US labour force. In spite of the recent shift towards "reshoring", the trend is still eastwards...
Source: Financial Times, weekend Mar 31 / Apr 1 2012.

 I have an old (he's old, not our relationship) friend that is very conservative. I eventually found out he was a democrat, though I always assumed he was a republican. Apparently, he used to be GOP, but he feels the party has lost its identity (or at least the one he was familiar with) in the last couple decades.
Good for him. Like Ron Paul says, GOP lost its way. It used to be an anti-war party, now look at the warmongering party it has become. It used to be fiscally conservative, and see how today they care about that - huge debt and they want to continue the wars and cut taxes! And in respect to economy, it's a pro-huge corporations and pro-rich party, since they're almost all bought by corporate lobbies.

On the topic, well, I guess it all has to do with evolution theory...

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 Quote by jim hardy For me it's Al Gore getting nobel prize.. He never passed a physics course in his life.
I guess it's a good thing then that they didn't give him the Physics Prize!

We can only do so much. If kids aren't interested, then they aren't interested because of a lack of foresight. They'd much rather pay-attention to more common, self-limiting interests, that down the line, won't support them in any way, shape, or form. I believe that will be the downfall of the U.S. if PARENTS don't begin to whip their kids into shape instead of being their friends.

 Recognitions: Gold Member I'd like to comment that trust in authority of all kinds, not just science, is at an all time low. For instance, I cite the case of "Curveball", when the leadership of the United States fixed intelligence to support policy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-lies-iraq-war At the time, I and many people sensed this, knew it was wrong, yet were helpless to prevent the march to demented and disastrous war. Since then, I have stopped voting and stopped protesting. Similarly, the self-styled geniuses of Wall Street along with the elite in academia, regulation and legislation, have succeeded in making the 1% incredibly wealthy to the immediate disadvantage of the 99%. Is it any wonder that the common Joe and Jill would retreat into sex, booze, drugs and entertainment in lieu of lionizing "the best and the brightest"? Respectfully submitted, Steve

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 Quote by Dotini I'd like to comment that trust in authority of all kinds, not just science, is at an all time low.
Just to confirm, you realize that the people who are driving the trust in science down are the people who implicitly trusted the Bush administration when we went to war in Iraq?

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 Quote by CAC1001 The whole premise seems a little silly to me, though I'm no expert. But I mean, how exactly does one measure "trust" in science?
The fact that people answer "no" to the question do you trust science and the fact that significantly more conservatives said no in 2012 than in 1974 at least alerts us to some sort of phenomenon, whatever that phenomenon may be.

 Mentor The 93% number is so massaged and cherry picked that it is misleading to the point of dishonesty. First, it has almost nothing to do with income. Imagine if in 2010, everyone got the same amount of money as in 2009, except one person at the top 1% who got one penny more. Then the 93% number becomes 100% - and nobody's life is any different. Second, it makes the assumption that the Top 1% in each year represents the exact same people as the year before. This is known to be incorrect. The smaller the number (Top 0.5%, Top 0.1%) the more incorrect this is. Third, it's comparing measured numbers to estimated numbers. Fourth, the time period is cherry-picked. Let's look at this in terms of income, not something overly massaged, but otherwise take the numbers from the original paper (you have read that, no?). In the period 2009-2010, inflation-adjusted average income went up from $50,414 to$51,550 (Table A0). The Top 1% went up from 913,451 to $1,019,089 (Table A6). This is where the 93% comes from. Now, suppose we took the period not from 2009-2010, but 2007-2010. This includes the recession plus the recovery. Now the average income went from$61,056 to $51,550 and the Top 1% from$1,435,002 to \$1,019,089. This tells a very different story - when you consider the downturn plus recovery, the average person experienced a 15% income loss, but the Top 1% experienced a loss of almost twice as much: 29%. I think "misleading to the point of dishonesty" is not unfair. I don't blame the researchers: I blame the Left for picking this number instead of a number of more useful and honest numbers, and I blame the media for reporting this number uncritically. So here's a scientific study that has been, frankly, perverted by the Left to score a cheap point. I don't think "cheap" is unfair - it relies on uncritical acceptance by the listener, which is pretty much the definition of "cheap". It tries to fool rather than persuade. It's not the first time, and I think what you are seeing is an entirely natural reaction on the part of the Right. The irony is that the Left actually does have a valid point, but because it chooses to fool rather than persuade, the point and its credibility are both lost.

 Quote by Vanadium 50 The irony is that the Left actually does have a valid point, but because it chooses to fool rather than persuade, the point and its credibility are both lost.
I think this is true for both the left and the right. I've always thought the right had a decent point about incentives and the welfare state but that it was too often dressed up in just plain misleading arguments (the entire book 'Losing Ground', for instance, 'welfare queens', etc).

The problem is the goal of rhetoric isn't to spread the truth- its to persuade people and move the terms of the debate. Anytime people are attempting to actually push for policy, the discussion fills with more noise than signal.

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Mentor
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 Quote by phoenix:\\ Science doesn't depend on the trust of people.
Firstly it does: whilst you may always be able to point to some sort of funding if there is a widespread mistrust of science then it's funding will be greatly affected. Secondly the biggest problem is the prevention of technological adoption due to mistrust. In Europe thanks to bad handling of science education and little effort to combat mass media pseudo-science we have little access to genetically modified crops. This is not a huge problem for us (though I'm sure it will increasingly be so) but has meant that GM crops designed in Europe that would benefit other parts of the world are banned for export.

This kind of thing is a huge problem. We need to get rid of the perception that I think your comment highlights that science is something seperate or removed from society. It is exactly the kind of idea that makes people think of scientists as arrogant men in ivory towers with no connection to the real world. It's all very well to scoff and say "we don't need public support for our discoveries and inventions to be correct and to work" but that attitude doesn't help in ensuring that the alternative medicine industry doesn't get a foothold in healthcare or that future energy demands are met or that persecution of minorities due to their differences isn't prevented.

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 Quote by Office_Shredder Did I miss something that changed the topic?
My point is that the Left has recently (last few years) taken to manipulate scientific data in a way designed to fool and confuse rather than to educate and enlighten. My thesis is that the dip in trust in science you are seeing from the Right is a predictable response.

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 Quote by Vanadium 50 The 93% number is so massaged and cherry picked that it is misleading to the point of dishonesty.
I'm not following...where is 93% mentioned? I don't see it in the OP link or in any post. Am I missing something?