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Why ‘Following the Science’ is Easier Said than Done

Published August 25, 2022

Why ‘Following the Science’ is Easier Said than Done
Prof. Nicholas DirksPresident and CEONew York Academy of Sciences

Prof. Nicholas Dirks
President and CEO
New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences works unceasingly to promote the public’s understanding of science. A basic precept of the scientific process, however, sometimes makes that difficult. We’ve seen this clearly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem is there often a difference between what scientists do and what non-scientists sometimes think they do. And this can contribute to public mistrust.

Academy President Nicholas Dirks explores this rift in an opinion article published by Project Syndicate. He points out that science is an ongoing pursuit, rather than a discrete effort with a clear end point. Yet to warrant their “trust”, non-scientists often expect science to deliver “proven” knowledge and facts. This is nothing new. But better communication about the scientific method is necessary if we are to solve many of the big challenges that lie ahead. Click here to read the article.