David Rosen | Hi there! I'm a Senior Vice President of Digital Corporate & Public Affairs at Edelman. (Opinions expressed are my own and don't necessarily represent those of my employer.)
This Blog | "The Future" isn't just a point in time. It's also an idea that influences our culture. This blog explores how we think about "tomorrow" and how as a meme it has evolved over millennia. Topics include the future as an archetype, utopian and dystopian literature, the psychology of time, the futurism profession, science fiction as modern mythology, and anything else that helps us understand how we think about what's next.
Let's Connect | You're invited to check out my blog on B2B social media, follow me on Twitter, step into one of the circles in Google+, or connect via LinkedIn. Your feedback in the comments is warmly welcomed, or you can email me at davidhrosen (at) gmail.com
Interesting post over at iO9 about where the idea of the Rapture originated, how it spread and evolved and which churches do and do not believe in it. The idea has gained significant traction in pop culture due to the "Left Behind" series.
It's amazing what you can discover just by asking a new question. In this case, Dr. Matthew Nisbet of American University -- and author of the Framing Science blog -- suggested to Pew that they ask what Americans hear about science from the pulpit as part of their regular survey of America and science. Snip:
"Of those who say their clergy occasionally speak about science or scientific findings, three-in-ten (30%) say the clergy at their church are usually supportive of science, while 11% say they are critical of science. A majority (52%) say the clergy's references to science are neither positive nor negative."
For a short book, Seth Godin's"TRIBES" covers a lot of territory. But while most of it has to do with leadership and social media, an incredibly insightful passage on faith, science and the future should not be overlooked:
"Faith goes back a long way. Faith leads to hope, and it overcomes fear. Faith gave our ancestors the resilience they needed to deal with the mysteries of the (pre-science) world. Faith is the dividing line between humans and most other species. We have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, faith that Newton's laws will continue to govern the way a ball travels, and faith that our time in med school will pay off twenty years from now because society is still going to need doctors."
I'm struck by how whether it's a vision of the future, which no one can objectively say is truth, or a scientific principal like the boiling point of water, what enables people to bet their dollars or even their lives is their faith that something will happen.
If anyone knows of any psychological books/papers on this topic, drop me a line.
The first panel featuresD. Graham Burnett, history professor at Princeton, Ann Blair, history professor atHarvard, Lawrence
Krauss, professor in the school of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State,Kenneth Miller, biology
professor, Brown, Guy Ortolano, history professor, U. Virginia.
paraphrased except where noted in quotes. If any of the speakers would
like to clarify or elaborate, please email me.) AB: The gap is a good thing. In the Middle
Ages it helped to separate science first from religion. Back then
philosophers were considered “lower” than theologists, so that status
helped science advance on its own terms. In the enlightenment we saw advances in math,
which opened things up to the masses. But after calculus was invented,
that door was largely shut to all but a few. That said, fields that relied
observation (assuming things like astronomy) were still largely accessible.
In the early19th centurywe see the professionalization of science with the
creations of academies and “ologies.”
Since then, the proliferation of conferences,
journals and formal schools created bigger barriers between scientific
fields. So now there are many cultures within science. It's better to keep things separate because
science benefits from the perception that it's objective and steers clear of
ideology. Science’s reputation is an asset. “What” and “how” types of questions are best
answered by science. But sometimes we get into answering “ought”
questions. But when scientists try to answer those, they get linked with
political fortunes which inevitably fall. We need multiple cultures with recognized
authorities, bridged by people like those at this event.
KM: What do the Evolution Wars have to do with the
two cultures? I'm not a historian, but evolution has been THE
burning issue in many state elections. It's a paradox that the
world in biomedical research, but we are at bottom of list of countries that
Speaking about a genetic marker that proves humans
evolved from apes: “If the designer wanted to fool us into thinking we
had come from evolution, this would be it.”
And yet this marker has been known for more
than 25 years. It's common knowledge among geneticists. But it's a
communications failure that no one else knows. Plum: One critical of Snow said the division
wasn't between cultures but classes. ...And this is where the conversation's pace
exceeded my Blackberry pecking abilities. You can pick
up the trail atTwitter.com/davidhrosen