Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Nature Interviews Dr. Peter Hotez About His New Book On Anti-Science

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Science & Society, Literacy

Ed Hessler

This post began the day I read the interview below in the British journal Nature. It  has lain dormant in my e-mail draft box for a few days.  Not the best place to be because sometimes I overlook them, even forget about them. It is still recent though as well as important since it is about the dangers of anti-science; to be even more blunt "the deadly dangers...".

Some of you will recognize this name: Dr. Peter Hotez, a highly regarded vaccine specialist and developer. I've referred to him in some posts during the COVID - 19 pandemic. The threat to science literacy is real, as he put it "coordinated", one I don't think is likely to be overcome. Hotez his just released a book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist’s Warning Johns Hopkins University Press (2023).

The British journal Nature's Julian Nowogrodzki spoke with Dr. Hotez about his new book and anti-science views on society and also personally. As usual I'm including the titles given to the segments, teasers I hope will lead you to read it. I'm a science educator and literacy about science is perhaps as primary aim as there is. This essay shows how difficult this task is and remains.  

It may be found at Nature or in a  pdf. The article is described in Nature Briefing as a 7-minute read to give you an idea.
-- You prefer to say ‘anti-science aggression’ rather than ‘misinformation’. Why?

-- Anti-science rhetoric is not new. What’s changed?

-- How did you see this play out during the COVID-19 pandemic?

-- How did speaking out during the pandemic affect you?

--  So how can this be stopped?

-- What can researchers do?

-- What’s your advice for dealing with online trolls?

-- Have you changed anyone’s mind? 

-- In your book’s dedication, you thank police departments and hospital security forces for keeping your family safe. How do you deal with fear? 

-- What’s your message to scientists?
His advice to scientists included the noble work that scientists do and that the attacks have to do with political gain. He thinks "some comfort" can be found in that. This could be said to science educators, K-12 some of whom have felt pressure to change their curriculum to accomodate certain views, often included in legislation that so far has not passed in any state but has been widely introduced.
h/t To a friend for giving me kick in the britches to complete it and move it to the blog although I took my time about it. I'm always glad to be the beneficiary of another pair of eyes. 

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