Michael Specter, a science journalist at The New Yorker and author of Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives gives a remarkably powerful talk on the treatment of science in modern times. He asks, ‘Why do we mistrust scientific authority?’ and encourages us to listen to the data even as we keep our skepticism.
This is a really good talk. I wish I had given it. Follow this link to the TEDed page with this talk and some questions. He mentions Paul Offit, the author of Vaccinated, the book we are reading in Microbiology this semester. Although the mention is brief, it does expose the ugly mob mentality that takes over public discourse sometimes.