…for causing so very many people so very much depression and angst. Reading this reaction to my book recently on a blog, I thought to myself, wow, it sounds like countless other reactions I’ve gotten from folks:
Reading these two books back to back [mine and Esther Kaplan's] is a tough thing to do, since Mooney’s point of view (that yes, the Democrats/liberals/intellectuals have on occasion abused science, but that the GOP has made a full-time vocation of it) is both unabashedly direct and brutally nailed down. On finishing Kaplan, you think “things are awful, but we can get through this.” On finishing Mooney, you think “HOLY SHIT, I THOUGHT WE WERE AT LEAST KINDA SORTA HOLDING OUR OWN IN ONE OR TWO THINGS!”
I apologize, in part, for causing such despair, because my book in its hardback version didn’t do enough to tell people how they could fight back against the war on science–and therefore, it left them with little sense of hope. That’s the chief flaw that the paperback edition tries to remedy. We can all fight back by:
1. Becoming better, more strategic science communicators (especially if we’re scientists).
2. Opposing anti-science members of Congress through direct political action.
3. Supporting the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Center for Science Education, and numerous other groups that have made restoring scientific integrity a core priority; or, supporting groups trying to improve the political communication skills of scientists; or, supporting groups trying to, er, “unelect” anti-science members of Congress or other anti-science politicians.
And that’s just a start…I will have more to say about all of this in coming weeks. If you’re feeling an urgent need to fight back more immediately than that, my fellow science bloggers have been trying to mobilize support for an anti-creationist state board of education candidate in Ohio. Getting involved in that fight, by supporting Tom Sawyer, would be a very good start.