ACA Lecture Series

Dr. Alan Cline, "The Disregard of Science and the Responsibility of Citizens"

Dr. Alan Cline

February 19, 2006

Topic: The Disregard of Science and the Responsibility of Citizens

About the speaker
UT Professor Alan Cline will give a version of his Visions of Computer Science lecture for a non-academic audience. Alan Cline is the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Computer Sciences #2. He recently has been accepted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT.

In various ways, science is under attack. Political leaders ignore science or reject its conclusions. Funding agencies reduce money for university-based scientific research. News media either ignore science or attempt to give equal weight to science and anti-science. Religious leaders fight science and castigate scientists. Elementary school teachers present science as simply sets of facts to be memorized. Regular citizens have little understanding of what science is, how the scientific method works, or what value it has for them. Meanwhile the reaction of scientists is a perplexed befuddlement coupled with a hope for better times. I will present evidence of the misunderstanding and rejection of science from many quarters. I find that the scientific community itself bears a significant portion of the blame. I will discuss steps to be taken toward the reversal of the trend – notions that require more than simply hope. Alan's slides can be viewed in here.

Atheist Community of Austin

The Atheist Community of Austin is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting positive atheism and the separation of church and state. The ACA serves the local Austin community through outreach programs, providing informational resources and various volunteer activities. In addition, the ACA serves the community-at-large through free online portals including informational wikis, regular audio/video podcasts and interactive blogs.

We define atheism as the lack of belief in gods. This definition also encompasses what most people call agnosticism.

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