This week, we saw how Donald Trump’s election into the Oval Office sparked new environmentalist movements and harsh criticism on his climate change policies from all sides. Whether through this or some other virtue, the President-Elect has taken a far softer stance, insisting he will have to consult scientists regarding the matter before deciding on his policies.
Furthermore, we have seen how a simple ideology associated to science, that it is an avenue for employment, has grown to science being viewed only in that manner, creating a dissonance from the public’s mindset of what matters influence their lives the most. Both discussions show why it is important for us as engineers and scientists to be more aware of the world around us.
That we learn what is best in terms of scientific growth and what is best for the world in theory, surrounded by like-minded peers and tutors does not mean any of these ideas will come to fruition through the nature of their merit alone. There are so many other factors, like education or welfare or politics, that may either take precedence or directly undermine the effects and influence of science on daily life.
And response to these factors through actions not necessarily taught in universities such as activism and forming collective consciousness is key in bringing society forward from detriment, not only necessarily in their perception of science, rather whatever ails them in life. This is a responsibility shared by all human beings, but in this context, we can see that we Engineers as a large part of it.
With that being said, we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, hence we have devised a carefully thought-out Discussion question for you all to consider and write your thoughts on in the space below. Whether it be long or short, contradictory or otherwise, we want to know what you think. So,
“What other factors stand in the way of scientific progress and how may we work to overcome them?”