questions

From: NAMMACETA@aol.com
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 09:55:52 EDT


Hello... Very good questions indeed.

1. What in your opinion is the level of scientific knowledge in America?:

I am not sure how to rate it. From working with the public in environmental
education for more than 22 years, I would have to say that in general, at
least with science related to the ocean, knowledge is quite rudimentary.
There is quite a bit of confusion about fundamentals of how natural systems
work and interact.

2. Is this level adequate? Does our society need more scientific knowledge?:
 

This is not acceptable. The society does need more knowledge, but it needs
it at the adult level. Much science is provided on television. The number
of people who take advantage of that appears to be minimal.

3. Does the American public make pseudoscience an acceptable science?:

Some portions do make astrology an important part of their day. I couldn't
say how widespread this is however.

4. What is your take on pseudoscience? Is it necessary in American society
to have in place of science today because of the exponential growth of
technology?:

If astrology makes people more aware of the cosmos and astronomy, then I
don't see any harm. I'm not sure I understand the second part of your
question. Folklore and myth has always been a part of societies. It may
give people a connection in a society that they cannot understand. However, I
suppose that a scaffolding of society can result in alienation.

5. What is the most important apect of science that American society should
know?:

I think that American society needs a working knowledge of ecology and how
natural systems work. If wilderness and corridors are going to be preserved
and established, people need to know why this is important and how it works.
I have found that people see issues and topics in a vacuum. A good example
is the issue of drilling for 6 months worth of oil in the Alaskan preserve.
And that is undestandable, given how issues are presented to us.

Hope that is helpful to you. Good luck!



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