I used to believe that a scientifically illiterate society was the greatest threat to the progress of science. Recent years, however, has revealed a greater threat: a society that perceives science as a threat. Yet this is what science faces today. From religious persons who struggle to reconcile evolution with a divine creator to those who believe vaccines are a danger to their children, science is facing an unusual battle: to convince those who benefit most from science to trust what it gives us.
I have spent time on both sides of this fight. Growing up in the religious south, it was not until I was well into my undergraduate degree that I began to deconstruct the misconceptions I had come to accept about evolution. I pursued a bachelors in science education and a masters in biology which has allowed me to effectively reach out to those struggling with with evolution and their religious beliefs. My lecture on science and religion has been given to students, faculty, and religious leaders, and I’ve co-hosted for a local radio program on science, religion, and society. I’m currently earning my PhD at the University of Kentucky, furthering my experience in leadership, policy, and science advocacy, so that I may one-day work in science policy.
In the current atmosphere of science denial, from climate change to evolution, we can no longer ignore the root of the problem – perceived affronts to identity – and I believe that my personal history makes me uniquely suited to this work. I want help mold policy, devise effective educational procedures, and work directly with the public in order to increase scientific literacy and affect positive change. By reaching out and building bridges of understanding with those who fear science, we can change the climate of science denial to one that fosters growth, trust, and new possibilities for the future.
Here you will find updates on my research, my Fallacy Friday series, resources on science and policy, my blog on related topics, and links to my multimedia.