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Science Day – fighting ignorance is bliss April 22, 2017

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

Science, as with many other things that are based on facts (like journalism), is under attack by the right wing in the US. There are many reasons why. Some of it is that the right is less educated than the average. Some is that the right has more evangelical Christians and practicing Catholics than the average and their reliance on faith skews them away from factual-based thinking. Some is that the right’s support of businesses and an unfettered capitalist economy runs afoul of environmental regulations or climate change or the move to renewable energy over fossil fuels.

The Republican party has based a lot of its policies in these philosophies and over time its candidates have been drawn more and more from these less-educated, religiously and politically dogmatic bare-fisted capitalists. Even a cursory look at Donald Trump shos that he strongly reflects those, as do many of his choices for high-level positions – Rick Perry, Betty Devos, Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson. They are proud of being ignorant, boastful that they know better than any experts.

The shortsightedness and tunnel vision is both shocking and dangerous. Science and technology fuel the US economy. The areas the US needs more skills in are the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (including Computing), the STEM areas, that are suffering greatly in the new budgets. These ignoramuses do not understand that their other pet areas of defense and security, fossil fuels, business and commerce all rely on new innovations that has come from the STEM areas. The US has Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, and hundreds of other tech companies. Biotechnology, including pharma, are very heavily American in innovation, in new patents. These also result from the STEM areas. Even a supposedly “mature” industrial area like fossil fuels has relied on new catalysts for refining, new exploration techniques and modeling, better coordination both upstream and downstream, new techniques that allow the finding of and use of tar sands and shale oil or shale gas or Fischer-Tropsch liquids. Again, these arise in the STEM areas.

Will the US sciences remain the top in the world? This is very likely. But for every year of this anti-science government, there will be a period of 5 years where China, India, Russia, and the European Community close the gap.



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