One of the things that makes it harder too is the sheer _popularity_ of Science.
I love Science but it’s gotten a huge publicity push to the point that what used to be stuff just for nerds now has memes and T-Shirts and Instagram Starbucks girls singing the Bill Nye chant and getting Neil deGrasse Tyson tattoos.
There’s a huge demand for something “new” to come out of Science somewhere every day. Of course there’s new stuff every day but everything is pushed as This Amazing New Science thing by media and when you really look at it, it’s nothing spectacular at all. It’s just sold that way.
So with a greater popularity comes greater publication to feed the needs of the people for news. With greater publication comes… sloppiness.
So, how can they be held accountable?
I mean who is watching? That’s why I try to keep my eyes and ears open. I see how IMPORTANT Science is to the public and I see things good and bad being spread around in the name of Science … some of it is just dreadful.
Scientism is on the rise. A belief that science has all the answers or soon will. A trust that “if it’s called Science, it’s really Science and it’s trustworthy”. But not everything coming out of journals – or media – or memes – is good, correct Science.
I guess the answer is to keep observant and know what’s Science, what’s wishful thinking, what’s exaggeration and hyperbole… and be discerning. Something as important as what Science holds for our future – both with the future of technology and ALSO as the future religion (the old ones are dying but the religious centers of the brain need to be fed with SOMETHING) can’t be left to run amok without critical eyes making sure things go well.
It’s the public that concerns me with that. As part of the public too, there have been plenty of times that I mistook their speculative consensus with scientific consensus, simply because I considered them authorities.
I get better and better at being discerning but it’s not always easy.