The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer

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Candle in the Dark

Instead of cursing the darkness of pseudoscience on television, light a candle with Cable Science Network
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Ever since Galileo began the tradition of communicating science in the vernacular so that all might share in its fruits, a tension has existed between those — call them “excluders” — who think science is for professionals only and regard its dissemination to wider audiences as infra dig and those — call them “includers” — who understand that all levels of science require clear composition and public understanding of process and product.

Throughout much of the 20th century the excluders have ruled the roost, punishing those in their flock who dared to write for those paying the bills. Cornell University astronomer Carl Sagan, for example, whose PBS television series Cosmos was viewed by more than half a billion people, was denied membership in the National Academy of Sciences primarily (his biographers have demonstrated through interviews with insiders) because he invested too much time in science popularization. (continue reading…)

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