I am a scientist at heart. I studied zoology and environmental science in college, did some ornithology field work and now work on invasive plant issues. Being analytic, methodical and fact-based really gets me going. Yet the more time I spend talking with my significant other, familiy members, friends and the average person on the street I discover that my penchant for science is not shared by most people. Science, in fact, scares them.
I am not talking about science fiction. I can understand why people may be frightened by the thought of intelligent robots taking over the world, Terminator-style, or that one day we will all be plugged into computers 24-7, never directly interacting with other people ever again, but science, real science? Well, it’s amazing!
The fear that many people have of science is their belief that science is “over their head.” They envision every scientist being a bespectacled nerd in a lab coat, huddled over a beaker full of steaming liquid, pale as a ghost because he or she never leaves their lab. These “egg heads” talk in science-speak, a language full of jargon and acronyms that could make your head spin. How can the average person relate to that?
Even some of the smartest people that I know pretend to be dunces when it comes to science. It’s sort of like me with math – if I really tried I could do those algebraic calculations, but come on… that would require work! (Just kidding) How many people have I heard say, “My worst subject in school was science (followed closely by math – see a pattern?!)”? Too many! That intimidation factor has stayed with them over the years and sunk so deeply into their subconscious that any time they hear the word science they cringe and imagine themself back in 3rd period chemistry, struggling to figure out how much of powder x will go into liquid q to get a color change. Erase that image from your minds, people! There is so much more to science than intricate calculations, high-tech lab equipment and pass or fail grades.
I have created this blog to break down the myth that science and environmentalism are for a narrow segment of the population. I want to decode science-speak and hopefully bridge partisan ideologies to show that science is understandable, invaluable and there for everyone’s benefit. My career depends on getting people on-board the science wagon, but it is more than that. I hope you will come to see that our very lives and well-being depend on science. Without it, we would all be a bunch of Neanderthals grunting in an unlit cave, struggling to stay alive. For science is really just “knowledge,” and who doesn’t want to be knowledgeable?