Science has reached a breaking point. Lots of things about our pale-blue changing world are being reconsidered while you read this entry. Let’s take a look in a nutshell, shall we?
First of all, I have two questions for you. Maybe you are going to consider it for the first time… or just to reconsider it. In any case, is good to bring these thoughts to our minds before we keep reading. First question, can you think of a world without science? Impossible right? Well, at least a world where we would like to live in. Second question, (and this is a tricky one) when you think about science, do you perceive it as a social component or as a field where you don’t have any word to say? Mmmm… we could surely share an interesting discussion regarding this question while having a coffee but I encourage you to leave your opinion on the comments section right at the end.
Whether you think science is socially-friendly or not, you are right because as I’ve mentioned above we found ourselves in a changing path at this respect. For a long time research has been focused on excellence fighting to be at the highest of the quality rankings. BUT, the future (hopefully not a distant one) will consider excellent science a piece of the gear. The world is changing and we have all noticed that, also has science. Spain (and also other countries) has realized that most of its research does not end with any social, and therefore, real application. And that’s a huge problem! To improve this situation Europe came up with a good start, it’s called ‘Horizon 2020’, a programme that seeks to bring ideas to reality. Ideas that can help develop innovative technologies, ideas for fighting societal challenges such as demographic changes, efficient energy, environment, security, etc., and (if I may, I would like to put extra emphasis on this one) ideas for making science with and for society, which means that all societal actors may be involved in the process of aligning an idea with what society expects regarding its needs and values. Here I believe science communication has the utmost role.
Let’s keep moving in this direction because I think that in the same way that we cannot consider a world without science, we should not be able to consider science without society. And for those who already want to give their opinion about science topics I would say… start asking because now you have your biggest chance to make your voice be heard and help science and the world to move forward to a better and more inclusive world.