Demonstrators

No, people do not have to know about science

I’m going to piss off a lot of people.
But here’s something I’ve been thinking a lot lately.

In the middle of this pandemic, there’s been an uprising of science deniers worldwide, and here and there I find people wondering how’s possible that there’s a so high number of them.
After all, people should know about science, right?

Wrong.

People don’t have to know anything about science.
We live in a specialized society, there’s a lot of things to know in a lot of fields, and there’s no human way to be cultivated in every field, and that includes science.

That’s why we have experts. You know, the WHO, CDC, the EU, local governments…
Those are the people who are supposed to know about science. After all, we’re paying them to do that.

So, why are people against science?

Well, actually no one is against science. They’re against specialists and authorities.
And this isn’t something that happened overnight, this is the result of years of lies and hidden interests, we’ve instrumentalized science and now it’s coming back at us.

In 1996, Alan Sokal sent an article full of nonsense to an academic journal. The idea was to test the intellectual rigour of that time’s journals.
Unsurprisingly, it got published. And later that year was confirmed as a hoax by the author himself.

There’s a huge number of examples like that in our recent history.
Those behaviours are the ones responsible for the growing feeling of distrust of the general population.
And you might argue “Hey, but everyone knows how a vaccine works.”
But honestly, if we base our argumentations y generalizations and subjectivity, then we all should know how to change a tire, right? After all, it’s one of the basics of car maintenance.

But does everyone need to know how to change a tire?

No, that’s why you hire a specialist, someone who knows more than you. And if you catch that specialist lying to you change the garage. Or in the worst case, you take your car to some cheap guy you found on the internet, not knowing that he doesn’t know anything about the issue.

That’s what is happening, it’s not that people are stupid, it’s our system the one who has failed, globally.

I want to believe that we’re still in time to reverse this situation, to help people to believe in our scientists again.

The other choice could lead us to the death of every progress we have made in the last century.