Society and Science – How Much do People Trust Scientific Advancements?

When the world is in a pandemic, it is up to the scientists of the world to help us find a solution. The problem then presents itself in another shape or form. If the solution is presented, like a vaccine, or multiple ones, people become sceptical of the goodwill of the scientists and the vaccine itself, doubting its described beneficial effects.

Some scientific discoveries are doubted, others are getting people scared, so the question has to be asked. Do people trust science and scientists? There is a short and long answer, so here is the condensed version of the long.

People Trust Science but NOT Other People

Science itself cannot really harm us, if we use it properly. Scientists may develop something with good in mind, however, it is other people that might want to misuse it. How about a corporation selling vaccines at a higher price, while them also not being effective as other, competitive vaccines. The world is a business and most people are aware of that, us living in a connected, consumer society. While the science itself is right, the people selling the vaccine might not be, a vaccine being an example, of course, in light of recent events. It has always been the way people use scientific discoveries, rather than the science itself, that made people lose their trust in science.

Too Many Bad Examples Throughout History

Science has helped us pave our way to where we are. Without technology, the internet, electricity, we would have been stuck in the age of candles and wood. Some people might prefer that, but many would not.

With that in mind, people tend to look back at various scientific discoveries which also turned out to be devastating. Nuclear energy is great, but also highly volatile. Plastic helped us in so many ways and now due to our behavior and the widespread usage of plastic, it is polluting the planet. Many discoveries in healthcare can also end our lives. All of these helped people lose their trust in science, to an extent.

The Science of Gadgets – Trust Misplaced

The problem started getting more complicated because people love using gadgets, like mobile devices, which are great for multiple reasons. Yet, the people behind the many applications and software, found that by selling your browsing data to others, can find great profit. Gadgets are used on a daily basis by billions of people, yet in that process, data is being fed to various corporations in the world. Privacy awareness is also starting to take its toll on science and discoveries, especially those which involve artificial intelligence (which needs lots of data to function properly).

Science itself has never or rarely been the problem. The way people use science to advance their personal, selfish goals, is what is giving off a bad vibe and making people distrust science in general. This is hopefully going to change in the years to come, with new privacy laws and other regulations leading to better monitoring of scientific discoveries and corporations, specifically.