Scientists and society

Although we're not yet there, I think society and scientists will more and more cooperate whereby most ordinary people are genuinely interested in sciences and proud to contribute to it by collecting data that later can be analysed by scientists who communicate the findings to the public, not only in specialist magazines although this is important so other scientists can judge whether the science was done properly but also communicate via popular scientific magazines for the interested non-scientists and even via "women" and "men" magazines as interesting subjects on for instance health while scientists should also edit publications such as Wikipedia without necessarily rewriting the article that "amateurs" wrote. Certainly when climate change predictions were accurate and medical progress continues as it will do will the numbers of people interested in science continue to grow.

This Guardian article describes examples how scientists and field workers such as farmers no longer oppose each other but instead start to work together so both humans and the environment benefits. As someone summarizes it:
“I’m one of those rare Republicans that believe that if you don’t take care of your environment, your environment can’t take care of you.”
However, in the past many wealthy took care of the environment because it enriched them as many were big landowners and they understood they had to look well after their property so it could recover each year and give new yields, both animals (such as cows but also rabbits and pheasants) and plants (such as fruit trees and vegetables). Many have forgotten as today they profit more from destruction (such as monoculture that needs poisons to prevent that insects and diseases but also rabbits destroy the fields).

Another example are fishers: in the past they lived in communities near water and this in harmony with the creatures in and around the water. Then certain people started industrial fishing and in order to survive, local fishers' companies had to become bigger and use similar techniques while many smaller companies failed and went bankrupt. In future I think it is likely this industrial fishing industry will no longer be allowed as it empties the oceans, seas and lakes and destroys the food chain for everyone, including humans. But such destructive waves happened throughout history.

No yet but almost
And thus, while many locals distrust scientists because they experienced first hand how scientists invented the equipment for the big industries such as monoculture so now genetic modified plants (GMPs) are needed to withstand poisons that kill any possible insects and diseases while also the intensive use of fertilizers that seemed positive to increase yields are now blamed for poisoning rivers. Therefore, in future scientists and everyone will work together, collecting data for each other from many different places to study how local difference can influence the larger picture and vice versa whereby indeed certain GMPs and fertilizers can help farmers but not everywhere or produce medicines. And thus, feedback from scientists about progress  in science and their inventions will result in the creation of better products or doing things differently so possible mistakes are much quicker corrected.

Medications are another example where in the past certain medications (such as painkillers acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol) seemed to help everyone, but now we know this is not the case and thus data needs to be collected from everyone to understand why certain people respond different than others to certain medications and thus the product information that is present in the packaging of medications encourage people to report side effects so scientists know them and can investigate why certain people have some side effects while others haven't.

Yes, I'm positive about a better future but indeed, scientists should also listen to questions the general public ask and explain how their solutions for the current problems are not against people but instead help to create this better world. Or why more research is needed to find answers to certain problems. For instance, scientists should call out much louder about other clean energy producers than the current solutions so people know about the progress.
But, it's not only that people want solutions for their problems, also growing numbers of people are honestly interested in sciences whereby they study sciences while social media is also an important tool to reach more people, often via simple videos to explain complex issues so people know about subjects and become even more interested.
Further, as science evolves very fast, as example, people with a certain serious illness may know more about the latest developments via their research into their own illness than the professionals who can't always keep track with all the changes so these patients may inform their doctors about newer treatments. And thus, not only learn people from professionals but professionals can also learn from the general public.

Science, an ongoing process that can help many but its journey is not yet completed. When completed, scientists may flip as they have no longer work.


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