I'm not entirely sure that this belongs here, but none the less here are some thoughts I had today. I am a working cosmologist, which is important to know when reading the following. Most Cosmologists today are pretty sure about the Big Bang being roughly the correct theory that describes our Universe. Most would agree that an alternative is possible, but it's hard to see that something completely different could explain the data. There are a few on the peripheries of the field that still hold a view that some other steady state type model explains the data better, but these individuals are in the minority and almost all are either retired or were never genuine researchers to begin with. If you review the public press on the Big Bang though, this minority view is over represented, although the mainstream view is still dominant. To the public I don't think there is a great sense of controversy about this issue. When it comes to global warming, I think that the situation is roughly the same. This is not my own area of research (unlike cosmology) but from what I have seen I think that man made global warming is a theory that within climate science is roughly on par with the Big Bang in Cosmology. Most researchers are fairly sure of it, with a small minority against, with the minority being characterized similar to the anti big bang minority. The big difference however is that it seems that the popular press for global warming is even more skewed to given an unrepresentative view of the minority, that is to say that the minority gets as much if not more attention at times. What then is the general public to make of this? I am a professional scientist, yet I am not nearly equipped to make a genuine appraisal of climate science and the evidence for or against global warming. A member of the public has even less chance. The only way to make a decision is to base it on what is seen and heard in the popular media (since journal articles on the topic would be out of reach to almost everyone). There is no way than even a very well educated and thoughtful public can have any hope of making a genuinely informed decision about whether the threat of global warming is sufficient to justify them making the economic sacrifices necessary to satisfy the limits of carbon emissions science has told them to keep to. There is great controversy over global warming science in the general public, yet comparatively little about the Big Bang. The obvious difference is that one may well have a direct impact on us but the other is likely to be a mere curiosity. However, they are both branches of science and if the media was capable of portraying science accurately then we might expect that the public would perceive a similar level of controversy about them. Clearly then, something gets very easily lost in going from journal articles to the popular press. It is an impossible task to convey complex science in simple terms with no loss of accuracy, so I am not blaming the media here, but surely this is an enormous issue that society will need to learn to deal with more and more into the future. As the challenges humanity faces get couched in increasingly complex science, how can democracy possibly function? Neither the politicians or the people that vote them in and out have the slightest chance of making genuinely informed decisions about issues that require complex scientific knowledge. I fear this will prove to be a grave problem in the long run if a better way of handling the cross-over of science and public policy is not found. The way we do it at present cannot be the best way, though I can't think of anything better either! Thanks for getting this far, I realise that was a bit of a ramble but I hope I conveyed the problems as I see it. I don't pretend to know the answers though, what do you suggests?