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Subject: Science Culture
SUBJECT:
Science culture
Whereas the consequences of modern science and technology dominate our lives and thoughts, we have been slow to incorporate scientific concepts into our culture. We often resent the way science challenges our deeply-held assumptions and beliefs. Increasingly, people are being asked to question the judgment of scientists on issues ranging from nuclear power to GM foods. Will science continue to be the cultural 'superpower' in Western society? The collections of the Science Museum include many items used to teach and symbolise science, from the orrery to the chemistry set. We look to science for the solutions to our problems, yet have doubts about the answers scientists give us. Many people prefer to put their trust in religion or a love of nature. Concepts incompatible with mainstream science – astrology, homeopathy, even alchemy – still attract widespread support. The tensions of our relationship with science are revealed by popular films, which either portray scientists as heroes or madmen. In response to this growing distrust, scientists have sought to explain and justify their activities in simple terms.
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Take one part science, dilute with two parts hype, distil off the jargon and reduce to easily-digestible chunks. Is popular science part of the anti-intellectualism trend known as ‘dumbing down’?  > more
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While governments and citizens once believed science had the answer, in recent decades people have reflected on its limitations and started to question decisions made on the basis of scientific methods. Now governments find that people are no longer willing to accept ‘scientific’ answers to policy issues.  > more
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The scientist has a real existence on screen as well as in the laboratory. Since Dr Frankenstein, the fictional scientist has often been mad, bad and dangerous to know. But this image has also evolved as attitudes to science have changed.  > more
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Although he’s one of the most famous scientists in history, few people could really describe Albert Einstein’s theories. Instead we recognise an icon who has come to represent science. His work reshaped our idea of physics, with profound consequences. His persona gave us an opportunity to put a face to the complex and the clever.  > more
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