$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.

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3 thoughts on “$50 Billion Science Thing

  1. the problem is, they do view it that way. that is why the onion is so funny, because it plays on what people already think and believe. Science To the People!

  2. Science education is key, and that’s what’s been slipping. Or is in danger of it. People just don’t like feeling stupid so when confronted with science principles and terminology they don’t understand, they’re likely to brush it off or make fun of it. And we seriously have people in this country that don’t understand that technology comes from science. Especially for the religious, science has been developing a negative connotation, and these people refuse to see that they cannot divorce their lives from scientific principles.

  3. I know; it’s disturbing to see people campaign against science via the products of science. And it’s amazing how well The Onion understands this. I hope that education will help bridge the gap to those who do not understand or appreciate science.

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