"why do you care about evolution so much"....I am asked this frequently about research I do surrounding the intersections of science and society. Evolution is important, I answer, but this is not just about evolution. It is only one small piece a complex puzzle (A thread)
Don't get me wrong, evolution education is important. It highlights a wide range of intersections between scientific understandings, personal worldviews, public perceptions, and societal action.
In evolution we find an astounding volume of evidence that crosses many disciplines and fields. We have an area where science finds strong agreement and alignment (which is hard to come by) and probable answers to questions humans have been asking for ages.
But it is not just about evolution. It is about science literacy. It is about the ability to gather evidence, to go where it leads--even when you don't like the direction it is going, it is applying logic to answer questions and solve problems based on hard evidence.
The work that I do is a roller coaster ride of emotion. I have the highest of highs when sharing, when reaching out to others to bridge gaps, but face lows when realizing just how far we still have to go for society to even understand the role of science, much less embrace it.
I have always felt strongly about the importance of science literacy but never so much so as in the last few months. I feel a heightened sense of awareness and pain at the gross disregard of expertise, of the painting of intellect as evil, and sit daily watching the divide grow.
For many of us, fighting "truth decay" has become a daily job. From correcting misconceptions and misinformation shared/stated by loved ones in person or on social media, to campaigning in our communities for safe choices and public health.
I see today a wider gap between science and society than I have ever seen in the past, and it is growing wider. Now more than ever we have to find our voices and actively work, not just to shut down the other side, but to bridge the gaps that allow the sides to disappear.
Every interaction matters. Every conversation counts. Evolution, climate change, pandemics, sustainability. The topics are just a medium for something so much greater. It is not science vs. the world, it is science to save the world.