The scientific enterprise is a precious jewel in humanity’s narrative. It’s been the most reliable basis for uncovering provisional truths about how the world works, for technological innovation, and for decision-making on scales ranging from the personal to the global. But as Dan Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for
Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University, sees it, the common and long-held claim that the self-direction of science accounts for its social benefits is a myth and has led to alarming flaws in science’s organization, funding, and reward systems. The most important foundation of the scientific enterprise — trust in its fundamental validity and social value — is now at risk, he says. Join Sarewitz and Will Thomas, an historian of science and a policy analyst at the American Institute of Physics, for an historically-anchored discussion about what ails science and what the remedies might be, the social benefits we should expect from our massive investment in science, and what’s at stake if we ignore inconvenient truths about the present state of scientific inquiry.