Scientists Connection With The Public On Research

When a scientist goes to work doing scientific research for a living, there is a tendency at times to take public support for granted, believing their work is justified on grounds for its own sake.  There have been articles written that are warning scientists and scientific institutions to re-think their presumed authority. Mistakes and surprises are partly responsible for the given warning to scientists on their understanding of nature, and the universe in general.

The public invests a lot of their hard-earned money and in turn they expect results. Often times scientists are back peddling on previously well established theories. For example, the “Crab Nebula has shocked astronomers by emitting an unprecedented blast of gamma rays, the highest-energy light in the Universe” says the BBC. It defies any explanation known to man which has worked on studying it for many years.

Exploration of Saturn’s moons like Enceladus with its geysers and Titan with its lack of an ethane ocean, contradicted previously long-held established predictions. They continue to work on various explanations for their evolutionary story to fill in the falsifications but nothing established yet.  In physorg, astronomers the past few years haven been observing planets orbiting the wrong way! The significance of this particular falsification when it comes to evolutionary thinking, it “obviously violates our most basic picture of planet and star formation.”

Then there is creating a story using a lot of imagination to fill in gaps in evolutionary thinking because the  evidence doesn’t point to it. For example, New Scientist reports, “Horsetail fossil tells tale of plant evolution.” But does it? When the reader looks for the evidence to start telling this tale, there is none to be found anywhere! The article does in fact talk about a fossilized horsetail that must have been preserved in a hot spring environment but goes on to say it looks modern. Channing’s work now “clears up” the story about evolution in this matter, claiming there was innovations conducted by natural selection the article suggests. But does it?

Channing’s study pushes the origin of modern-looking horsetails back another 14 million years, to 150 million years before the present. Then claiming this plant had suddenly popped into existence 150 million years ago (stuff happens theory in evolution) and never dreamt up any new innovations all the way to the present except, if anything, the older ones were bigger and better!

Like New Scientist’s article, studies on evolution are among the worst who take on the label of “scientist” but provide no return on investment to society – in fact, who do much to misuse and harm society while bragging about their status as scientists. When it comes to a  PhD, it confers no more authority on a scientist than a real estate license does on a realtor; it depends on what the individual person does with the skills and learning they acquired.

Look at the good work being done by citizen scientists! Better a field amateur with years of observations than an armchair professor pontificating from his PhD microphone! This in no way is intended to insult many honorable scientists working out there using their position for the good of mankind, doing honest work each day, and providing society with a good return on the public’s investment.

However, let me make this clear! Professional scientists need to realize, they must earn their wings each day.  Not everything they do is scientific, and not everything a non-scientist does is unscientific.  A scientist speaking outside his or her area of knowledge can have opinions no better than those of anyone! One of the solutions to this problem with scientists lack of connection with the public is the media. The media needs to practice “critical thinking” in its articles rather than hype up everything that comes out as though it were gospel. Also, scientists ought to serve society not preach to it!