What is science in everyday examples

March for Science What does science mean today?


... perhaps one or the other wonders who thinks facts and scientific findings are negotiable. But: science is a treasure! Our modern life and prosperity in many parts of the world are based on the fact that people act according to scientific knowledge. Scientists rave about this again and again. The Jena communication scientist Professor Georg Ruhrmann:

Medical innovations are always the best example. Think of cancer and AIDS research, where much more is possible today than in the past, but also, for example, modern economic theories. Economic policy would not be possible without modern economic theories.

Prof. Georg Ruhrmann

And the series can be continued. Knowledge makes planes fly, creates smartphones, a warm home, the big bang theory. Instead of using muscle power, people are increasingly using their actual strength in their heads. We live in a knowledge society. Why is the knowledge society suddenly questioning its very core - knowledge? Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research knows one reason. With his insights into climate change, he has been running against a wall of cotton wool for the past 25 years, in his own words:

But you can't practically enjoy science like a menu, that you pick out the things you would like to believe and simply reject the others.

Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf

The fact that people doubt science is also due to science itself. One reason is that scientific and technical progress brings immense improvements in life, but with the development of weapons and climate catastrophe also leads to humanity and the entire earth are threatened in their existence.

Then there is the modern media world, which makes it easy to find what confirms your own opinion. Real facts, on the other hand, are difficult to recognize in the flood of information.

Let me give you a few examples: esotericism instead of evolutionary theory - a huge topic in the USA, people sometimes cannot distinguish between them. Or what is the difference between advertising and economics? What is the difference between when I'm sick, that I have something to commute and whether I have treatment with evidence-based medicine.

Prof. Georg Ruhrmann

The scientists themselves can change something here by becoming more understandable and seeing people outside the laboratories as partners. Communication researcher Ruhrmann emphasizes:

That citizens, especially when it comes to science, like to be addressed at eye level and do not want to be instructed. Especially here in Germany, where science and universities have always been felt to be very instructive. That doesn't work anymore today, people don't like that.

Prof. Georg Ruhrmann

How quickly science is changing everyday life can be seen in the constant use of new means of communication, increasingly modern medical practices and, soon, probably in self-driving cars. But there is also the opposite: knowledge that lies idle, for example in social sciences. Opportunities wasted! The integration of refugees would perhaps be less difficult if politics knew and used the results of science. Communication researcher Ruhrmann also sees wasted opportunities when the framework conditions stand against good scientific work.

I must also point out that today we have precarious working conditions for younger people and also for non-scientists in universities, that is, work that is simply not paid well, that is not secure enough.

Prof. Georg Ruhrmann

The wrong signal - thinks Ruhrmann. Education is the key word for him - it is becoming more and more important for all areas of life. In the company, in schools, or, for example, when we consciously consume complex consumer goods, we need a lot more knowledge, he says. Knowing about processes, thinking in context, that is what we should actually learn in schools and universities today.

The future does not lie in less science, but in more and more knowledge, for all people and each individual, says communication researcher Georg Ruhrmann - and hopes that society will recognize this. The bottom line:

Significantly more must be invested in education and science if society wants to continue working on this prosperity.