ODT: Sexed-up science

An editorial in the Otago Daily Times discusses science’s increasing efforts to become ‘sexier’ and woo public opinion.

However, it cautions that science needs to be careful while doing so, in case it loses its reputation in the process.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“To those for whom a rational, scientific understanding of the physical and living worlds we inhabit is a necessary corollary of civilised and progressive society, the drive to make science more accessible, to make it clear, and allow it to recapture the human imagination, is entirely understandable.

“Popularising does not, nor must not mean dumbing down, nor wantonly exaggerating, nor being seduced into the sound-bite mentality most lately punctuated by wittering tweets in an age of Twitter.

“In alliance with the old maxim “a little bit of knowledge is dangerous”, the thrust to bend science to popular norms and expectations can produce disheartening and counterproductive results.”