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    Who Has Benefited From Science The Most? Europeans. Who Distrusts Science The Most? Europeans
    By Hank Campbell | February 6th 2013 06:14 PM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    This is a video from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 200th anniversary celebration. You'll need to start at minute 17 unless you are strong in northern European languages and want a musical interlude (which is actually quite civilized).

    The basic gist made by Professor Louise Fresco is that without science progress, we would not be thriving in food production, we would have the apocalyptic scenario predicted by Doomsday prophet and Obama Science Czar Dr. John Holdren in the 1960s and beyond. Modern Europeans, who are now incredibly anti-science, have clearly benefited the most from science they now distrust.  Cell phone cancer, anti-GMO, anti-nuclear, you name an accepted consensus and someone official in Europe is railing against it. Shell-shocked European scientists, even more dependent on the political funding machine than the American kind, are stuck between defending science and biting the hand that quite literally feeds them.

    Instead of it being the other way around, as it had been throughout history, the bulk of Europe is not concerned about "its daily bread", she notes, and now they are so agriculturally rich they can worry about how much gluten food has and whether or not it contains a natural toxic pesticide or a synthetic one.

    Why is the science basis of the Green Revolution so lost on modern Greens? Modern environmentalists are more driven by nostalgia about the past than an understanding of what food production was really like back then. 

    It's social dislocation by a truly privileged generation. The greatest beneficiaries of science were clearly not the poor, though they benefited, but rather the middle and upper classes - the same rich, progressive people who have the luxury of distrusting science today. The lack of belief in learning by modern Europeans sets them apart from the rest of the world, she says. The negative perception of the unprecedented success of science threatens their future.

    Well, she is right. Unfortunately more Europeans do not see it. We can worry about California or Washington state being exceptionally zany in their anti-science fundamentalism, but in Europe that is the norm. Science can instead be dismissed as a blind belief in technocracy, or just an opinion, or they can claim that scientists are bringing us to the brink of a biological meltdown - that is the luxury of being agriculturally rich, thanks to science.

    It's an interesting talk. Hat tip: Dr. Pamela Ronald

    Högtidssammankomst 200 år: Sekreterarens tal. Högtidstalare Lousie Fresco. Avslutning.

    Comments

    Stellare
    You say: "Modern Europeans, who are now incredibly anti-science.."

    I am afraid I do not identify at all with your description of the Europeans as anti-science. Au contraire, in fact. Sorry, Hank, but you do not understand European thinking. We are more 'on one side we have this argument, or fact, on the other side we have another argument or fact. Etc, etc. One person alone can have this conversation - or it could take place among different individuals. We are less ' either you are with us or you are our enemy' than seem to be the American mantra. :-)

    What I do agree on is this statement: "Why is the science basis of the Green Revolution so lost on modern Greens? Modern environmentalists are more driven by nostalgia about the past than an understanding of what food production was really like back then. "

    Hereby demonstrating that I can be agreeing and disagreeing with you in one go. hahaha Sooo European!
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    ha ha Well, yes, that is very nuanced.  But I am distilling what this well-known European researcher says, it was not just me throwing out insults at Europeans.  She was nicer, she did not say "incredibly" but the bulk of this is what she said, even if she said 'very' instead of 'incredibly'.

    And the science director for the EU says Europeans are anti-science and getting worse. So it may be that people of our generation in Europe are skeptical and balanced and you may not see it in others because you are not around anti science people - I have never met a young earth creationist in America, for example, though some people insist they are everywhere. Europeans are putting scientists on trial for not predicting an earthquake, that is a belief that science does not work, not to mention the nonsense with cell phones and genetic modification.

    Her concern is agriculture, which is why she focus ones the anti-science mentality so much. Her contention is that Europeans have benefited the most from science, the legacy of Borlaug is science helping feed the world, and that by retreating into the nostalgia of the past Europeans are falling behind and hurting poor people worldwide, because the best minds of Europe are paralyzed by anti-science in the culture, and thus not working to make food science better.
    Hello,

    Europeans are putting scientists on trial for not predicting an earthquake, that is a belief that science does not work, not to mention the nonsense with cell phones and genetic modification.

    About l'Aquila trial, probably not the best example :)
    It's way more complicated thing, in a very bad political period here.
    As far as I know it's putting public officials on trial for doing what they should have not done.
    As I understand the problem is that the "High Risks Commision" told to the population something
    like "there is no need to worry, go back in your homes " instead of telling "we dont know if the risk
    is higher or lower than normal, do what you feel is better for you". But my understanding is superficial
    and if the sentence is righ ot not I dont know, there is a 900 page document where the court explains
    why the guilty sentence and what laws are involved.

    Just to say that around here I see no criticism in Science or Scientific Method, but in people
    that use their scientific credibility for political or personal advantages.

    By the way, it's my first comment here, great Blog.