R2: Article Response Questions

Response Questions

  1. Is the amount of dissent to major scientific ideas trending downward over time? Or are there just as many skeptics to brand new ideas as there have always been? Clearly the amount of people who believe in, say, global warming is trending upward, but in terms of new ideas introduced to the public, do people trust scientists blindly more than ever before?

  2. The average person knows the bare bones of most of the scientific ideas covered in the article (evolution, climate change, vaccinations, etc) but would probably struggle to explain the finer points. Science as a practice is far removed from everyday people, and handed down from the so-called ivory towers in more palatable chunks. How can science become more transparent and accessible to everyday people such that commonly accepted ideas are impossible to argue against?

  3. How can the government get involved in silencing dissenters to major scientific opinions, particularly those that put people in danger? Is it possible to make spreading alternative views to accepted science illegal - using the same logic that made shouting “fire” in a crowded theater illegal? Can this be applied to, say, televangelists who sell “miracle water” type products on their shows, making absurd empty promises to viewers?