Public Science Literacy Must Be Increased To Stem Tide Of Anti-Science Sentiment

Anti-Science Sentiment Author: LEON M. LEDERMAN Anti-science sentiments have waxed and waned over the past few centuries, shifting with public awareness of science and its conflict with authority. There is little doubt that we are in a waxing phase today (see story on page 1). For the scientific community to react to the new onslaught, it is important to appreciate the diversity of anti-science armies arrayed in the field. Most familiar among them are the religious fundamentalists, some left

Leon Lederman
Jul 9, 1995

Anti-Science Sentiment Author: LEON M. LEDERMAN

Anti-science sentiments have waxed and waned over the past few centuries, shifting with public awareness of science and its conflict with authority. There is little doubt that we are in a waxing phase today (see story on page 1). For the scientific community to react to the new onslaught, it is important to appreciate the diversity of anti-science armies arrayed in the field.

Most familiar among them are the religious fundamentalists, some left over from the Galileo affair but now reinvigorated by the political success of clerical states. Fundamentalism -- the polar opposite of scientific skepticism -- is by no means unique to Islam: We recognize Jewish fundamentalists in Hebron, the Christian religious right in the United States, and a variety of other sects around the world. The spread of radical fundamentalism is surely a major concern of our times.

Today, anti-science in academia...

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