$50 Billion Science Thing

The Onion, a satire newspaper, has a surprisingly good grasp on both science and public thought. A recent gem is “Scientists Ask Congress To Fund $50 Billion Science Thing”.

A couple highlights:

Another diagram presented to lawmakers contained several important squiggly lines, numbers, and letters. Despite not being numbers, the letters were reportedly meant to represent mathematics too. The scientists seemed to believe that correct math was what would help make the science thing go.

“Now, I’m no science major, but if I’m being told by a group of people that the protons, neutrons, and electrons need unifying, then I think we owe it to the American people to go in and unify them,” Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) said. “After all, isn’t a message of unity what we want to send to our children?”

But the accompanying illustration sums it up the best:

Diagram of science thing
Diagram of science thing. Credit: The Onion.

I worry, though, that many Americans perceive science in this way. Not only is science getting more specialized, but science education in the United States is slipping. We could become a society of science haves and have-nots, which is something I absolutely do not want to see and is one of the reasons I write this blog. Science should be free and accessible to all, and I hope the Internet will continue to help us find new ways to ensure it.