Coturnix: A Candle in the Dark

Bora continues to play a very important role in synthesizing and interpreting the whole strange chorus that seems to be going on in reaction to our Framing Science thesis. In his latest post, I couldn't have stated it better myself. He definitely gets it. He captures pretty much everything that needs to be said at this point.

The next several weeks are going to be very busy. I'm finishing off the semester teaching, and I have a lot of deadlines coming up. So what I'm saying is that this is going to be a very slow couple of weeks for me blog wise.

PS: Bora offers more light on the matter in an even more recent post. Some money quotes I've pasted below the fold. the long-term, through improvements of science education, through science popularization, a total reform of the media, and, yes, through critical analysis of religion (as well as critical analysis of the conservative ideology which feeds the religion), we may make our job of selling science-related political policies easier than they are today. That will take some years. And that will face fierce opposition.

But we need to start funding stem cell research today. We need to start stopping global warming today. We need to rethink our energy use and energy production today. We need to rethink about food production and use today. We need to rethink our economic system, our electoral system, our foreign policy - everything. And science can inform all of those areas. And to an audience that is not interested in (or is even hostile to) science, the policies have to be sold on other merits, on the economic, medical, emotional and esthetic interests of the voters, with the underlying science being brought up as needed and in small, palatable measures.

Framing science is not teaching science. Framing science is persuading voters that a policy (which, in this case is based on some underlying science) is good. It has little to do with science, and all to do with politics. But we have to win some political battles first (hello, see who is running all branches of the government these days!?) if we want to survive and if we want science to survive as an endeavor.

Over at Mooney's Intersection I also post a comment in reply to a question from the mysterious Ponderingfool. ;-)
It's a bit of a backgrounder on the literature relevant to coming up with a typology of science-related frames.

I found this one follow up comment especially interesting. There's been a lot of men shouting at each other among the chorus of voices in reaction to our Framing Science thesis. Here's a different perspective:

Just wanted to quickly comment and say I agree 100% with both your Science and WP pieces! Every single scientist should post copies on his/her bulletin board. I'm a professional writer who returned to school last year to study biology. After getting involved in the academic scientific community, I am amazed at how bad scientists are at communicating with the general public. I'm also quite amazed at how inflammatory many science blogs are (even though I enjoy them). It seems like many science bloggers revel in not just explaining science, but calling religious people idiots. Not a good way to draw in the public (which is, as you point out, overwhelmingly religious--but not necessarily "fundamentalist"). I'd like to say that I personally find Dawkins offensive for basically calling anyone with any kind of religious belief a moron. If his positions offend me (someone who is studying science), just think of the kind of reaction his commentary provokes in religious people without a prior love of science...

I hope your articles force scientist to seriously think about better ways to communicate with the public. Bravo, both of you! Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Jennifer | April 16, 2007 04:49 PM

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less