Science and facts are the underpinnings of a civil society
On Wednesday, the world watched a mob attack the U.S. Capitol and the dedicated individuals who work inside. This is just the latest example of what happens when false information is spread and hyperbole is taken as truth. On the same day, we lost more than 4,000 people in the U.S. due to COVID-19.
When a society places little value on science and facts, negative effects are felt everywhere, often more severely by members of minoritized populations.
But when societies value and respect science and facts, we see tremendous opportunities for a planet filled with healthier individuals, better educated children and increased civic engagement. A community grounded in truth and supported by science is a community that will ensure safe and equal opportunities for future generations. In the end, truth is the touchstone for all of us that seek a more just world.
As one of the leading worldwide scientific societies, AGU’s community is dedicated to advocating for a civil society that values science and facts. Consistent with our strategic plan that calls for a thriving, sustainable and equitable future supported by scientific discovery, innovation and action, we remain steadfastly dedicated.
Are there any economists and social scientists in AGU? It appears we (Americans/humanity) need to figure out a business model for social media that trains people to be less extreme, while preserving free speech. That would be a business model that counters the current advertising-based models. The advertising based models are run by algorithms that use all the data they can glean to increase increase clicks. The net result is the algorithms train people to be more extreme, in all directions. (This concept isn’t mine. It might be from a Scientific American article, which may have been based on several researchers of the phenomenon.) Also, add in our (everyone’s) tendency to see, read or hear what they want or expect to see, read or hear.