Past Event

Rescuing Science: Restoring Trust in an Age of Doubt

March 27, 2024
4:05 PM - 5:05 PM
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Pupin 1402

Colloquium by Paul Sutter, Stonybrook

Vaccine hesitancy. Rejection of climate change. Distrust of scientific authority. Science is at a crossroads. Despite an ever-growing awareness of the value of science, the relationship between science and society is at an all-time low. In this talk based on his latest book, cosmologist Paul Sutter will explore the vicious cycles that led to this breakdown, what it means for the future of science, and what we can do about it. Woven with his own experiences in and out of academia, Paul will discuss how scientists have responded to dwindling funding by unwittingly created a culture of mistrust, fueled by practices such as a publish-or-perish mentality that gives rise to fraud, a flawed understanding of the political process that allows science to be exploited, an atmosphere of risk aversion that stifles new voices, an unwillingness to engage with the public that promotes alienation, and more. He will provide concrete, proactive solutions for overcoming these obstacles and rebuilding bridges to the communities that need science the most.

Paul M. Sutter is a Research Professor of Theoretical Cosmology at Stony Brook University’s Institute for Advanced Computational Science and a visiting professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. He received his PhD in Physics as a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before completing post-doctoral fellowships at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris and at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste. Paul also serves on the external advisory council for NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program and as a consultant for the Department of Energy. An award-winning science communicator, Paul has authored three popular science books and has hosted television shows on Discovery, Science Channel, History Channel, and many digital channels. In addition to writing for Scientific American, Nautilus, Ars Technica, and more, Paul has developed one of the most popular podcasts in the world and is a globally recognized leader in the intersection of art and science, especially in his role as a United States Cultural Ambassador.

Followed by wine and cheese.

Host: David Kipping