Threatened Scientific Culture In America

Why We Need To Stand Up For Science In the Face Of Trumps America

The Sunlight Experiment aims to investigate the science behind natural and botanical medicines. The founder, Justin Cooke, spends a lot of his time filtering through scientific literature to bring you insights and up to date information on the topic. Over the years, he has learned to value the processes set in place by the scientific community. Not only in medical research, but in philisophical terms. how to think, and how to learn. 

Scientific discovery is the reason why the majority of surgeries don't result in death, and why our life expectancy has more than doubled in the past 2 centuries. It's also why scientifically orientated minds tend to be less closed off to criticism of ideas, and cemented in their opinions. Science promotes a culture of curiosity, healthy skepticism, and constant improvement. 

glaciers and climate change

Recently, a new administration in America has threatened scientific advancement in the country and has lead to a "post-fact era". This is increasingly becoming a time where your own opinions or the opinions of others are taken as fact without question, and rather than logical skepticism, the rebutle is simply another uninformed opinion yelled back at the face of others.

It's important to support the growth of scientific discovery, and remain open (and skeptical) towards the claims or theories made therein. The whole point of science is to question everything, and attempt to prove it wrong until you fail to do so. This is when something becomes accepted as fact.

There is a growing trend of ignorance in the world that chooses to follow a system of biased opinions without logical skepticism.

Climate change is no doubt the face of the issue, and the most significant at this current moment. That said, all science is now in jeopardy in the United States. If we can pick and choose what science we want to believe, then it simply isn't real science... it's ignorance.

Throughout history, scientists have made new and controversial discoveries, this discovery is met with skepticism, and is investigated from a non-biased perspective. It's tested again and again to ensure it can be recreated, and people come together from different viewpoints to try and prove it wrong. It's only when it can't be proven wrong that it is accepted as fact. 

The difference with the current administration and an incredibly high amount of subscribers is that instead of trying to prove a fact wrong, they try to prove that it's right. This is fundamentally flawed because you can "prove" absolutely anything to be correct.

A perfect example of this that I have spoken about in the past a Harvard Study that was paid by sugar company executives to manipulate study data to "prove" that fat is the leading cause of all heart disease (rather than sugar). This was blatantly false information that these researchers were able to "PROVE" correct by manipulating and blurring the study parameters. Since that study, countless other papers have been published showing the exact opposite, working together to debunk the Harvard Study and uncover which facts were indeed true. .

Anything can be "proven", but if it isn't truth it will easily be disputed and contradictions or unbiased study parameters can be found (see the flat earth theory for example), which is riddled with contradictions and skewed information). Only true facts can withstand the rigorous tests of the scientific method. 

This has become quite acceptable with the current president elect, and his administration of benighted civil servants, many of whom have actively denied climate change, fought for the removal of the theory of evolution from schools and promoted anti-vaccine fallacy. We seem to be entering into a modern day Narnia where magic and contradiction are accepted as truth. 

If science can so easily be disregarded on matters as large as climate change, what's going to happen with smaller discoveries? Are we going to accept only what interests us and disbelieve everything else based on opinion?

There are plenty of intelligent minds in the world, and the problem doesn't lie with the way they conduct research, it lies in the abandonment of scientific acceptance in the greater community. 

True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.
— Sir Karl Raimund Popper

Currently, in the United States, the policies moving forward abandon the value of science in the greater community. This will ultimately threaten our very existence, and ability to think for ourselves. Intelligent minds all over the country are in the process of backing up scientific data, in fear of a Trump administration order for deletion. This is coming from a country who until this point has been a leader of the pack in scientific research and discovery. Some of the most intelligent minds this world has ever seen come from America, yet their opinion in this current moment appears to mean very little. 

 

Can We Do Anything To Stop This?

In the States (and elsewhere in the world), there's a movement fighting the policies that the incredibly atrocious administration heads are coming up with. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, this article by Scientific American lays it out fairly well. 

There's been a surge in the creation of "rogue" government accounts, protesting the danger a Trump administration poses on facts and real information. Check out @RogueNASA for example, or @AltUSEPA. These accounts are run by the staff of these government organizations who see the value and importance of real information rather than uninformed opinions and "magic". 

If you would like to join the discussion, follow the Twitter hashtag #ScienceMarch or #ScienceNotSilence to stay up to date. Leave a comment below if there are others you know about that I have missed. 

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