David Brin: Ignorance, Greed & Ideology Killing Us All

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David Brin

How Ignorance, Greed and Ideology Are Warping Science and Hurting Democracy

Julian Brookes

Rolling Stone Politics, 15 November 2011

“Whenever the people are well informed” an optimistic Thomas Jefferson wrote, “they can be trusted with their own government.” Sure – but what if the people have no clue? 

Most of the big challenges facing America and the world today – from climate change to disease to population growth – revolve around science and technology. If we – We, the People – are going to make smart decisions on what to do about these problems, we need to have at least a rough understanding of the basic science involved. Problem is, we don’t.

As science writer Shawn Lawrence Otto points out in a tough-minded new book, Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, too many Americans are either plain ignorant of science or actively hostile to it, or both.

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