A new book argues that it’s time to get rid of science altogether.
In a new book called, “What’s Science?,” author Jonathan Lethem argues that the current obsession with science is harmful to society, and argues that we should move away from its outdated and misleading notions.
He argues that while science is important, it should be viewed more as a tool to help us learn, rather than as a force that makes us smarter.
Lethem argues science has become so over-focused on the scientific process that it is now largely irrelevant to our lives.
“When science becomes a tool of the political, the corporate, and the religious, it becomes a weapon that helps perpetuate injustice and power,” Lethem writes.
What’s more, he argues that too many scientists and researchers are being paid by the government for their work, and have little or no autonomy to pursue their interests.
This has created a “dangerous situation,” Letmes points out, where a small number of scientists are paid millions of dollars and their ideas are being pushed onto the public.
That creates a false sense of trust in the science and in the scientific community, Lethem warns.
It is this distrust that has led to the creation of a “deep-seated distrust” between scientists and the general public, Letmes says.
If we’re to move forward in our democracy, we need to “end the culture of trust” that has become “pervasive” in our society, Letme argues.
The book focuses on three areas that he says are key to ending the distrust: education, science, and culture.
For the book, Letlems examined the relationship between education, technology, and science, looking at the relationship of science to society.
According to Lethem, our “culture of distrust” is the result of “a powerful, entrenched elite, which is convinced that science and technology are threats to its control.”
This fear, he contends, is fostered by our culture of fear, which has been shaped by the legacy of slavery and segregation, as well as the “anti-scientific, anti-human, anti‑democratic, and anti-democratic culture that was created by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and other forms of bigotry and oppression.”
In other words, the fear of science is so ingrained in our culture that we often dismiss the idea of scientific inquiry as “the new racism.”
Lethem calls for a “rethinking” of how we understand the relationship science has to society as well.
Specifically, he recommends a “reflection on the role of science in our everyday lives,” an idea that he shares with author David Foster Wallace.
Wallace wrote that science should be seen as a “tool” to help people discover truth, rather a force to destroy that truth.
Wallace argued that science was an important part of human existence because it helps us “make sense of the world.”
And while it has been suggested that Wallace is right, Letles points out that Wallace was also a racist, and his book “seems to be about racism, not about science.”
What does that mean for Lethem’s proposed movement?
Lethem suggests that a movement could take two forms.
One would focus on the way in which science is used by politicians and scientists, and how the “political and scientific elite” are using science to advance their agendas.
And another would focus only on the ways in which our culture and our society have become so “cautious” about science, that it no longer takes into account the scientific evidence.
While Lethem is not proposing that a revolution take place, he does believe that the right way to deal with the distrust and distrust in our world is to focus on a few “core values” that will help us overcome it.
These include the importance of “knowledge, independence, and dignity,” as well a commitment to “love of truth,” “openmindedness,” and “truth as a common good.”
While these values are not new, Letms suggests that they have become “too often overlooked and undervalued,” and that “the current culture of distrust and mistrust has become a powerful, embedded elite, that is convinced it must be the one and only true and correct way of life.”
He says that our current approach to science is based on the belief that it “can’t be trusted.”
“If we truly want to achieve justice and equality for all, we have to reevaluate our relationship with science and begin to recognize that science can be used to improve our lives, and our communities,” Letms says.
And, finally, Letums argues that our culture needs to begin to move away “from the ‘scientific paradigm’ that has been hijacked by a narrow, elite elite.”