Science is a way many educated people go about studying and learning about the world. It’s dependent on repeatable experiments and observation(s) and peer review. Information is culled and then scientists discern what is true and what is false, what is worth pursuing and how exactly to go about it.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in universities, and even some high schools, draw as much attention simply because they are not only practical, but also profitable. The tech industry is booming, now more than it ever has before, engineering is a relatively lucrative industry, so much of important science is math-based and general sciences (like biology, chemistry) are important for a society dependent on pharmaceuticals and the like.
But an interest in science should not come only from a desire to be successful and make money. Science can shift long-held paradigms and ideological biases, make one more humble and provide resources to go about operating more easily within our world. Plus, science is pretty cool. Remember those fun days in chemistry class when we got to watch chemicals react to one another? That was awesome!
Perhaps an obstacle to studying science, and integrating it more into one’s life, is the way it does shift paradigms and ideological biases. Some see it (science) as a contender, of sorts, to religion. As if the two cannot exist cooperatively in our world. While religion has held science back for lengthy periods of time, anymore, the two are pretty compatible, given that one’s personal thoughts/feelings do not interfere with any research or inquiry.
Another obstacle is how confusing the material can be. Being as incredibly nuanced as they are, scientific fields contain a plethora of information, with some of it being changed with new discoveries, seeming almost contradictory. Now, in order to make a career in science, one should be able to keep up with all of this information, but as far as the average layperson is concerned, science should be a little more accessible. Slowly but surely, science is becoming exactly that through educational YouTube series and podcasts, comic books (like the ones illustrated and written by Larry Gonick), interactive websites and museums, documentaries and even atypical science books. Writing about science shouldn’t be so “academic” and in the language of the scientists. Magazines that cover scientific topics, and their relevancy, should be considered more than they are at the moment, because they are so useful.
If we as a nation put more focus on science, perhaps we’ll become a true world leader again. We must educate the youth in scientific endeavors, for they are the ones to integrate the information into their lives more than we are apt to. We need scientifically-conscience individuals to grow up and impact legislation. Perhaps money spent on trivial pursuits like incarceration or war, can be better spent studying the cosmos or saving the planet. We can only reap a multitude of seemingly unending benefits if we make more of an effort to understand and advocate science.