This blog has been stimulated by the complete disregard for scientific input in policy-making during the Donald Trump administration, by the deep scientific ignorance of many of our lawmakers, by the coordinated assault on climate science and scientific education more generally — typified by the recent Heartland Institute brochure mailed to science teachers across the U.S. — and by the March for Science that occurred in Washington, D.C. and many other cities around the world in April 2017. The image above is of the poster that one of us (S.V.) prepared for that March. Science deniers have been around for a long time and now seem more emboldened than ever. But they use a standard set of “tricks” that can be exposed so that students and members of the public can recognize them and distinguish real science (including scientific skepticism) from pseudoscience and science denial.
Blog entries are being prepared by Steven Vigdor and Tim Londergan, two Emeritus Professors of Physics and longtime researchers in nuclear and particle physics at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Our primary goal is to provide resources to help science teachers at all educational levels to hone critical thinking among their students, while training them to distinguish sincere applications of the scientific method from cynical attempts to coopt discussion by phony, self-proclaimed “protectors” of science.
Vigdor is also the author of Signatures of the Artist: The Vital Imperfections That Make Our Universe Habitable, a book surveying a half-century of research in nuclear physics, particle physics and cosmology that bears on the conditions to achieve a universe that supports structure and life. Londergan also blogs about the roots of rock music at Tim’s Cover Story. And both of us are among the founding members of the group Concerned Scientists @ Indiana University, which advocates for evidence-based public policy making.