This is just a good read recommendation for a magazine article.
I like science. I like science fiction. It disheartens me, watching the crumbling of critical thinking and informed discussion in America, especially when applied to business and politics, and the growth of science deniers as a tool to bludgeon critical thinking and informed discussion. Newspaper reporting often boils articles down to balance presentation of what the two parties involved say without trying to investigate the truth of either. Fact checking as an industry, and newspaper and webiste features, are growing. So are faux fact sites to counter the fact checkers.
So I enjoyed discovering the "Scientific American" article, "Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy." While it addresses science and its role through America's history, including the current election cycle, many of the conclusions and observations are applicable to other nations.
The article fascinated me because it went back to Thomas Jefferson's thinking as he proposed America's new government, and charted the pendulum of scientific thinking and political parties through the country's history. It's broadly painted, as you can find Republicans scientists as well as Democratic science deniers, and highlights the current situation, where the country's conservative base is against science, mostly because science based regulations impede making money. It also points out the debasing of knowledge based thinking and the rise of opinion as knowledge's equivalent, and the danger that presents, and highlights the worrisome trend legislatures and the state and national Republican are endorsing, of establishing opinion as fact, and deciding that some terms can't be used. Thus the Texas Republican Party has a platform that includes, "“the teaching of … critical thinking skills and similar programs that … have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”enMeanwhile, Virginia Republicans ban the wording, "sea-level rise" from a government commission on the grounds that those words are a left wing expression.
The author is Shawn Lawrence Otto, co-producer of a movie I enjoyed, "House of Sand and Fog". I checked his website and found some more interesting articles. One link put me off: "Acclaimed Filmaker, Author, and Science Advocate to Speak."
I wonder why he wasn't speaking? Was it a medical problem?
Despite that link, I liked him on Facebook, so you know I'm serious. Here's a link to the "Scientific American" article.
I hope you check it out.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com