The publisher of Science magazine is calling for better
communication of science, but one organization doesn't think that
is really what he is after.
In a recent editorial, Science publisher Alan
Leshner writes, "Public understanding of science not only affects
people's ability to appreciate and make full use of the products of
science, it also contributes to the extent of support for
Cal Beisner, founder and national spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of
Creation, interprets Leshner's statement differently.
"So in other words, if the public
doesn't understand science well enough, we're not going to get
enough tax money to support our research -- and after all, as
scientists, we want to do that research and we want to be supported
by tax money so we have to get the public to understand science
better," he paraphrases Leshner's remarks.
Leshner also writes "there is no shortage of topics where
policy-makers or other members of the public seem to persistently
misunderstand, misrepresent or disregard the underlying science: as
in climate change, genetically modified foods, vaccines or
evolution, among others."
Beisner feels that Leshner is not so much interested in the
public understanding of science, as he is the public embracing
"Those conclusions, in turn, direct the spending of public
monies. So it's not really so much science that he wants to
communicate better -- it's particular public policy-related
conclusions," Beisner concludes.