Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Envisioning Science

Otto Neurath argued that social progress depended on finding a visual language in which to express scientific facts and relations. We cannot expect everyone, especially working people, to acquire the technical proficiency with formal mathematics to understand the results of science, but that doesn't mean that not everyone can understand science. We all can if someone finds a way to translate it for the rest of us.

This piece from the BBC is an amazing example of this in terms of the relation between public health and economics (hat tip to Kerry for sending me the link):

In a democracy, especially one in which our stance towards the rest of the world makes a real difference in real lives, how come we have to go elsewhere -- to the BBC -- to see something like this. Why isn't CNN with all their technological flash and fluff using it to effectively educate us in this sort of way?