The whole world mourned the passing of Stephen Hawking because of the immense respect he enjoyed in life as one of the greatest scientists of our time, his genius even comparable with Albert Einstein.
Hawking has some endearing qualities, too, aside from his obvious and unquestioned brilliance, including his knack of using popular culture to introduce and bring closer complex theories into ordinary lives. He also had no problems with being a celebrity, in fact, he showed signs that he enjoyed the fame that went with his stature.
Despite the high regard almost unanimously heaped on him in life and in death, Hawking knew when he was still alive that there wasn’t always a connection between scientific facts and people’s trust in those findings.
Scientific research is a very costly endeavor, billions of dollars are spent for it. It is probably due to the massive resources focused on scientific research that many people feel they have an interest in what the best and the brightest scientists turn up. The reality, however, is that whatever the field — climate change, medicine, vaccinations, genetically modified foods, smartphone technology — they have always been open to skepticism, mistrust and conspiracy.
A recent Ipsos global study surveying 14 countries say there's a great deal of mistrust of science among people. In Canada, for instance, 46 percent of people believe science has a "somewhat important" place in their everyday lives. A somewhat significant five percent, on the other hand, says it doesn't matter in their lives at all. Fifty-nine percent may feel strong ambivalence and said they "somewhat" trust science. Such findings are not exactly confidence-boosting for the field of science or the work of the geniuses.
It would be remembered also that not so long ago, Canada went through a period where government scientists were restricted in publicizing their work. Many protested and said they were "muzzled" by a deliberate government policy. Some say the science community has never recovered from that incident and reluctance still lingers to this day.
The question is begging to be answered: Are people losing trust in the ability of science to provide answers?
[tw_tags]: #MAGA #KeepAmericaGreat! #Canada #Science #StephenHawking #ScientificResearch #PeopleMistrustScience [/tw_tags]