I have lamented in previous blogs about how science illiterate and frivolous our culture has become. This was dramatically demonstrated in some of the public reactions to the LCROSS. It shocked and saddened me.
NASA, once the crowning jewel of American technological prowess and scientific boldness, was lambasted in blog after blog as extravagant, paramilitary, and arrogant. That's because in our Bart Simpson culture being stupid is cool and smart is, er, being "stupid."
Pop culture portrays scientists as geeks to be distrusted. Some people are so fearful of science they respond to it purely with doubt and ridicule. That is, except when geeks can engineer IPods and IPhones - which only work because some eggheads a century ago invented quantum physics.
Some of the most caustic comments I've seen:
What difference does the result make anyway? Does it have the potential to stop global warming, or something?
NASA geeks think we should all pay for their cool firecrackers in space.
It's time to pull the plug on NASA; they can all go home and play with their slide rules.