By David Dannecker
Science has never been more pertinent to current events than it is today. Global climate change ushers in an increasing amount of news each year. Disease epidemics, such as the ongoing challenge of Ebola in West Africa, currently feature in breaking headlines on a weekly basis. New discoveries in astronomy, physics, oceanography, and many other exciting fields are being made regularly. With that being said, there is a troubling lack of clarity, and even outright misinformation, in the way that many media outlets report on scientific discoveries and the scientific aspects of broader news stories. It cannot be said that this is strictly the fault of the media; many scientific topics are not very approachable and can be difficult to summarize. However, with science becoming an increasingly relevant facet of so many of today’s news stories, improving the scientific understanding of the general public has never been more important.
As a student publication covering international affairs at one of the world’s leading universities for scientific fields, Prospect Journal is well-situated to delve into the scientific issues that are making news today. We are launching this Science Matters blog feature as a forum to explore some of the nuances of those issues, to talk about concepts that don’t always get attention in the media, and to actively work against the scientific illiteracy that tends to pervade certain topics in the public discourse.
My name is David Dannecker; I am an editor for Prospect, and a graduate student of biology at UC San Diego. I, along with several other scientifically-inclined writers here at Prospect, will be contributing to the Science Matters blog over the coming weeks and months. I look forward to exploring the oceans, the atmosphere, the workings of our world and beyond in the articles that we publish here. Please check back every other Wednesday to follow these explorations.
Image by Biswarup Ganguly