C-134. The public and science

As poor as the public understanding of science is said to be (and as so measured in “literacy” studies) ….

The science establishment’s understanding of the public is poorer.

And the latter may have a lot to do with the former.

The public’s need is to know. And to know is Science’s charge. But when science has failed its charge, as it appears to have, by not knowing public well – i.e., its needed functionality so as to help better Realize itself (see Union: C-112) … then, what might we make of the science establishment’s biased campaign to popularize science – and scientists?

We can see that science has Realized (App. XIX; C-111) only a limited view of itself – i.e., of knowing. It prefers puzzles after the fact, seeking answers to the order of things (what there is of it!) … preferring puzzles over solving problems before the fact – unless, of course, there are problems to solve if they are to get the answers (XII) to their questions.

Science’s own Realization is limited because this preference for finding order among things, Kf, has blocked it from the knowledge to be gained from our trying to order things, Kt (C-93).

Experimental communities, for example, based on behavioral principles derived from the Nature of Things and not just after-the-fact actuarial particulars data on failed, faltering or fortuitously surviving communities. (Why aren’t political science and journalism disciplines more systematically experimental? See HAS disciplines [App. XV].)

Science has an incomplete Grasp of knowing not just because of turning away from the problems that need solving. But also because the methods of Kf have been adopted by those studying, albeit after the fact, attempts to solve problems (e.g., the raft of correlational results: see C-17 … primarily of actuarial value - for decision making rather than further Realization.

Science is too much an unexplicated concept (C-81, C-124). If science were to be better Realized, then it’s understanding of the Public as a largely un-Realized behavioral entity (people) might then enable it to help in the Realization of what is now an unfulfilled needed functionality – i.e., putative communities of disparate aggregates, mobilized now and then by threat or election, to do what they can about their (largely situational) problems ... if it’s only to make a choice (C-98: that other climate problem).

Science, qua knowing, must itself become better Realized (“Know thyself”) if it is to see all the functionality needed and come to be better prepared to assist in all the challenges to which Realization applies … including that of people needing to become a public (i.e., a union-based community: C-112), a public whose minding capability would then begin to meet the demands of its problems (I). Central to the public’s exercised minding capability would be an R-Sense (C-128) … and an understanding of science for what it is and is not – but should be.

“Public science,” if this double concept were fully explicated (C-85), each term an R-word (C-107), could provide a perspective that “political science” has not … for it would then be clear that not only do both terms pertain to incompletely Realized needed functionalities. But the possibility obtains, via interdependency, of attaining the best of democracy and the best of science.

Science should be united with art and humanism, functionally interdependent, in consequence of the Nature of Things and the problems posed by its general persisting conditions of partial order, consequentiality and discontinuity (III). (See “HAS”: App. VIII, App. XII, App. XV.) United in compositional development (C-133) for needed solutions, for designs and for hypotheses.

Science (proudly) does indeed contribute to problem solving (if by others [e.g., technologists]). See “basic science.” Technology is not, however, a camp-follower to science, dependent on it for ideas. Materiality tells us otherwise (C-132). Realization‘s start in needed functionality generates, given developed capabilities, composed technologies of tools and procedures (App. VII, App. XIX) whose consequences become matters of knowledge. Science may then, after the fact, follow.

Physical juxtaposition of science and technology enterprises has proved productive, each assisting the other. However, with respect to needed (interdependence) functionality, such ventures barely tap the potential minding resources of an R-Sense.

(c) 2015 R.F. Carter