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Policy projects

Reimagining Science

15 June 2021

"If science is considered a closed priesthood, too difficult and arcane for the average person to understand, the dangers of abuse are greater. But if science is a topic of general interest and concern—if both its delights and its social consequences are discussed regularly and competently in the schools, the press, and at the dinner table—we have greatly improved our prospects for learning how the world really is and for improving both it and us."

Carl Sagan. Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science.


This programme is ambitious. The goal is to change people’s narrative of and engagement with science. This applies to everyone, everywhere; from the people embedded at the heart of the scientific community to those who feel completely alienated by it. If Reimagining Science is successful, it will change how ‘science’ is written about, talked about and thought about. The hope is for people to enjoy and engage with science as with the arts or sport (and within sport more like football than polo).

Science changes our world and how we live in it, both through the knowledge it creates and the ways it is understood and practiced. This is true for everyone, from small children to Nobel laureates. However, science is often partitioned off as something to be done by the super-humanly clever or sub-humanly robotic; a discrete, solitary and sterile activity hidden away in laboratories and universities. This conception is extremely misleading as well as damaging.

It is easy to forget that the intention of both artists and scientists is for audiences to experience their work, contemplate it and be moved by it. Scientists have long discussed the value of concepts such as aesthetics or beauty in their theories and the juxtaposition of art and science show the two to be much more closely related in their outputs than expected. Creativity, excitement, frustration, doubt, hope and despair are all part of the process, and the separation of science from the humanity that makes it has resulted in a multitude of problems across society.

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