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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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In the 1970s, the federal government mandated that only universities that adhered to racial quotas could receive federal money - as a result, nearly all U.S. universities today receive federal funding of some sort and all receive state money.
At the 1939 World’s Fair, Westinghouse, which had an interest in robotics even a decade before, unveiled two robot prototypes: a humanoid named Elektro and a dog named Sparko.

Elektro was able to walk, count and smoke cigarettes (which likely did not make his voice raspy, since he talked using a record player) while Sparko was able to sit up and bark.  Take that, G.E.!

elektro and sparko GE 1939 early robots
Sprouts are regarded as a healthy food source, rich with vitamins, minerals and non-meat proteins, but they've also been recalled five times in the last two years for salmonella and hundreds of people have become sick due to them.    Activists can complain about GMOs but, after decades in use, not so much as a stomach ache has been caused by them.
Green energy technologies like wind, solar and biomass presently constitute only 3.6% of fuel used to generate electricity in the U.S.   Energy expert Vaclav Smil calculates that achieving Al Gore's renewable energy goal in a decade would incur building costs and write-downs on the order of $4 trillion, note Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren at Forbes
Is biology too important to be left in the hands of experts?   Maybe.

Americans like stories about underdogs who start as outsiders but then become the very core of what being 'inside' means.    Think Einstein and the patent office.  Or Mendel, an 'uncertified substitute teacher' whose day job was being an Augustian monk but whose knowledge of amateur horticulture allowed him to win a race career biologists did not even know had started.

Outsiders doing important things appeals to the frontier spirit in Americans and there's nothing more like a wide open frontier than biology in the hands of hackers - biopunks.
The past few years have seen a decline in the percentage of Americans who believe what scientists say about climate science. 

The science community shares some of the blame, obviously; the IPCC made rookie errors in its recent assessment and even intentionally included non-science results as data, and the so-called "Climategate" emails showed scientists weren't always out to promote science as much as they were out to stick it to opponents, behavior just like every other field where humans work.