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Monday, 5 May 2008

Has the US lost faith in science?

Those of us of an older generation have always looked at the USA when wanting to see how slavish acceptance of science and everything that it delivers plays out. Now, it seems, those days may be over.

Rick Borchelt director of communications at the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University, and an old lag in the science communications caper, has, along with Kathy Hudson director of the place, come up with Engaging the Scientific Community With the Public. To pluck one paragraph out of their story:

In a nutshell, an erosion of public trust that began as a trickle of doubt about radiation safety and pesticides has grown to program-threatening uprisings against emerging new technologies, from genetically altered “Frankenfoods” to concern over “grey goo” in nanotechnology.
Apart from that, nothing new here really. But that may not be surprising, given that the UK first put the wheels on the bandwagon that has become the Public Understanding of Science (PUS) (now Public Engagement in Science and Technology).