Over at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, Bud Ward has posted a nice review of Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s new book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. From the book’s web site:
Climate change, the energy crisis, global pandemics, nuclear proliferation—many of the most urgent problems of the twenty-first century require science-based solutions. Yet Americans are paying less and less attention to scientists. For every five hours of cable news, less than a minute is devoted to science; the number of newspapers with weekly science sections has shrunken by two-thirds over the past several decades. Just 18 percent of Americans personally know a scientist to begin with, and exceedingly few can name a living scientist role model. No wonder rejection of science is rampant: 46 percent of Americans deny evolution and think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old; large numbers of Republicans continue to attack the science of climate change; and the public—including its wealthiest and best educated sectors—is in dangerous retreat from childhood vaccinations.
The disconnect between the scientific community and mainstream American culture grows wider every day.
The Nation has also published an article by the authors based on the book. Guess who gets a lot of the blame? The scientists.