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Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens by Chris Mooney, Sheril Kirshenbaum

By Chris Mooney, Sheril Kirshenbaum

Weather switch, the strength trouble, nuclear proliferation—many of the main pressing difficulties of the twenty-first century require clinical strategies, but the USA is paying much less and not more realization to scientists. for each 5 hours of cable information, lower than one minute is dedicated to technological know-how, and the variety of newspapers with technology sections has reduced in size from ninety-five to thirty-three within the final 20 years. In Unscientific America, journalist and best-selling writer Chris Mooney and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum clarify this harmful situation, offering a wide array of tasks that can opposite the present trend.
An impassioned name to fingers, Unscientific America exhorts americans to reintegrate technological know-how into public discourse—before it really is too overdue.

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They were superstars. Postwar, the scientific community found itself swept up in the national mission, and scientists came to enjoy considerable cultural and political authority. In 1944, President Franklin D. ” Bush and Roosevelt shared a mission and also a powerful metaphor, one that closely aligned science with the national identity. “The pioneer spirit is still vigorous within this nation,” wrote Bush in a cover letter addressing the president’s request. ” Bush’s report, entitled Science: The Endless Frontier, extended the metaphor and laid out what would become the postwar consensus on 25 26 U N S C I E NT I F I C A M E R I C A the centrality of science to America’s mission.

We’ll soon be discovering many new levers that could allow us to alter the nature of human identity and existence, and that is not the only kind of possible intervention the future may hold. We’re also moving ever closer to the knowledge and techniques that will let us actively manipulate the planet’s climate and weather—so-called geoengineering. Once we have this ability, and in truth we may already be there, won’t we be sorely tempted to use it? ” We ought already to be anticipating them and preparing for them as a society.

Congress jacked up the budget of the recently formed National Science Foundation to $134 million, an increase of nearly $100 million in just one year. Over the next decade the explosive growth continued, so that by 1968 the NSF budget approached $500 million. And the NSF represented just one slice of the science pie: Many other agencies, especially military ones, were also funding research. 2 billion. The political and cultural dedication to science didn’t limit itself to research dollars. In 1958, Congress also created NASA, home to America’s moon-bound space program, and passed the National Defense Education Act, providing generous funding to encourage American students to pursue careers in science and engineering.

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