I woke up to good news from NPR Health, this site regularly reports upon scientific health matters. I love science, I hate stupidity. So there! So there! So there! The absolutely good news is that more and more people are joining me and now there are signs that there is growing public trust in scientists. Yipee!!
‘In a time of climate change denial and vaccine resistance, scientists worry they are losing public trust. But it’s just the opposite, a survey released Friday finds.
Public trust of scientists is growing. It’s on a par with our trust of the military and far above trust of clergy, politicians and journalists.
The survey by the Pew Research Center finds 86% of those surveyed say they have a fair amount or a great deal of faith that scientists act in our best interests. And that’s been trending higher — it was 76% in 2016.
The proportion of people who say they have a “great deal” of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest increased from 21% in 2016 to 35% in 2019.
But the picture isn’t entirely rosy. “It tends to be kind of a soft support,” says Cary Funk, director of science and society research at the Pew Research Center and co-author of the report.
I was feeling most pessimistic because of the “climate change denial and vaccine resistance.”. The article somewhat addressed this issue.
“Trust issues are by no means unique to science. John Besley, a professor of public relations at Michigan State University who studies public opinion about science, says there’s a trend in the United States toward lower public trust in general. He has been tracking these trends in a related survey conducted by the National Science Board, which governs the National Science Foundation. Looking more broadly at public trust of people and institutions, “overall trust in other people has gone down,” Besley says. He’s curious to know how much the weaknesses identified in the Pew study “are really about scientists versus how much are a general distrust of everybody, sort of a general cynicism,” he says.And considering that scientists are bucking that overall skeptical trend, they come out looking even better, he says.
Doubts about climate change and vaccine resistance are special cases, Besley notes. They relate to deeper issues not directly related to trust in science, so they should not be taken as an overall indication of public attitudes toward scientists”
But good news rather turned to bad upon perusing the Sunday paper. Peruse, of course means, read (something), typically in a thorough or careful way: (She has spent countless hours in libraries perusing art history books and catalogues.)
The headlines and front section are filled with the latest shooting atrocity). Atrocity: act of barbarity, act of brutality, act of savagery, act of wickedness, cruelty, abomination, enormity, outrage, horror, monstrosity, obscenity, iniquity, violation, crime, transgression, wrong, wrongdoing, offence, injury, affront, scandal, injustice, abuse; Law malfeasance, tort.
The affront, the malfeasance, the monstrosity is not only the shooting of innocent people by a crazed man, it is also the continuing, persistent lack of gun control. I went to live in Canada from the UK because of no gun control. “You might as well go live in a shooting gallery!” Said I defiantly. But a shooting gallery did, in the long run, seem preferable to Vancouver. Anyway, more about that tomorrow.
Here is the bad news written by Heather Knight, located in Section D of the August 6, 2019 San Francisco Chronicle. The title announces; Crisis on Streets Calls for Bold Steps. It starts with the premise that if an earthquake struck then “City Hall” would immediately take action. Not form a task force, hold hearings, commission reports, create new positions. “Let’s hope not.. So why does that comprise so much of the its dire homeless crisis, its devastating mental health emergency and its horrifying drug situation?”
It is because dear woman, it is necessary to use science to determine the causes of homelessness – only then can a remedy be found. And studies have been funded (reported on this blog) to look at the underlying causes of homelessness. There are many, not just one. Have you have met a homeless person Heather? In Vancouver I befriended a 41 year old, he would come and shower occasionally and when there cook for me. He wanted to be homeless – he did not think he was homeless – he would say that the universe was his home. “City Hall” could build endless shelters but he would not live there (except on especially inclement days). Now, perhaps he is not typical, but studies must be undertaken to know why homeless are on the streets, not make false assumptions. Goodness knows, mental health must be studied in order to ascertain the diagnosis and prognosis of those suffering from problems with mental health. “City Hall” is earnestly developing a more comprehensive mental health programme. Heather, do you not read your own newspaper? I learned of this effort by reading your paper. And the “horrifying drug situation” is sometimes blamed on cell phones by those with no scientific interest, background or training.
The bad news about this article is not that it is in Section D, but that it was printed at all because nothing is accomplished by this alarmist approach that uses inappropriate language and turns awful situations into crises when they have existed in some form for years and years. I moved to San Francisco in 1967 and at that time there were drug problems, there were mental health programs and hippies camped out in Golden Gate Park. I suppose Heather might be forgiven as she was not born then – most probably. But the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle have some responsibility to look at things in a proper perspective. The Chronicle is a mixed bag – there are extremely competent reporters but there are also those who are given space in the paper when they should have been sent back to do more research, or perhaps some research. The Chronicle is not doing these young reporters a favour – perhaps they should be encouraged to write a blog instead. (hahahaha).
The photograph appeared on yesterday’s Instagram. It is taken from the john at Jack’s where an amazing apple fritter was consumed. I do love this Hayes Valley, a great place, Jack’s only marred by children absolutely disruptive and being ignored by their parents. This is usually a rare sight in this area of the city were children are valued and given great consideration. These parents were in conversation with one another – if you did not want to pay attention to your kids – why did you have them in the first place?
I am not in a particularly good mood this morning although, as will be revealed, there is every reason for me to be in a good mood.