Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal reminds us that the public at large believes in the results of science based on their trust in scientists and, quite often, those that communicate the science.
The comic also shows how hazardous it can be to abuse that trust. This is why efforts to hold the institutions through which we do science accountable – like Retraction Watch, Rep. Speier’s HR6161, SAFE, critiquing of the publish-or-perish system, p-hacking, journal profiteering, and embargo abuse – are vital. It needs to be clear in public forums that we take that trust seriously and are more committed to protecting the integrity of the practice of science than to protecting individuals who violate that trust to maintain an illusion.
I have taught this class. It was called “Introduction to Biology for Non-Majors”.
Incidentally, I got pretty good student evaluations and none of my South Carolinian students argued with me about evolution.
I get to see a lot of children’s cartoons. Zach Weinersmith is completely right on this one.
In fact, a few years ago, I tried to rewatch my favorite cartoon as a child, Voltron, with the idea that I might show it to my own children. Let’s just say, my children still have not seen that iteration of Voltron. My imagination is still pretty childlike*, but this was too much to ask**.
*I can provide references.
**As much as it saddens me to say it, this is also true for Airwolf.