Science - An important, yet underrated subject

Science as a subject might not have developed until thousands of years after the evolution of man, but man has been practicing science for as old as his existence. For example, man accidentally discovered fire and found out that cooked foods are more palatable than raw ones and decided to adopt the former, not knowing that the ability to extract more nutrients from foods comes as a result of cooking them and this significantly aided the evolution of man.

The continuous quest for man to understand his natural environment, which science is essentially all about, led to the emergence of science as a subject. Since then, several advancements and discoveries have been made and more are still being made. The bulk of what makes life easier for the common man today is in no thanks to the application of scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, science, and sometimes scientists, seem not to be appreciated by many.

It is not uncommon to find many people looking down on science, scientists, and science content (even here on hive). Several scientific phenomena are labeled a hoax. Examples are the anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers. They believe that vaccines are unnecessary and have sinister motives behind them while the phenomenon of climate change is seen as an avenue to control people and launder money in the name of research. Even when the positive effects of vaccines and the detrimental effects of human-induced climate change reverberate around us, conspiracy theorists will rather wave them away by the most ridiculous of excuses.

In developing countries like ours, science courses, perhaps excluding medical courses, are massively underappreciated and the professionals in the field underpaid. I have 2 degrees in Botany, a Bachelor of Science, and a Master's degree with a specialization in plant ecology. I have worked a shitty job mainly with the qualifications and nothing more. I actually fare better working full time on hive, creating and curating content. I have been stuck on my Ph.D. for a while now largely due to finances as there is zero support/funding from the government nor the private sector. My education has been 100% self-funding. Recently, my interest in the Ph.D. and academics, in general, has waned a great deal and I really do not see myself in that field anymore. Perhaps I'll be better off being an owner of a small business, who knows!

As a curator to one of the science communities on hive (stemsocial), I have been confronted several times about why posts that are not original are rewarded. According to them, unless you are publishing about your research that has not been published before, your content is rewritten at best and recycled at worst. To them, if you are not traveling to places or making delicious meals and taking awesome pictures (among other things) to post them on hive, you are not creating value. They simply do not see reasons why a post about headache should be rewarded when there are hundreds of similar posts on the Web.

Are they right with their assertions? The answer is N O. Every content is original in their capacity as long as they are not plagiarised and rewritten. A well-researched stem post is probably one of the most difficult content to create, I can say this anywhere. If you are in doubt, ask folks like @agmoore, @oscurity, and @alfonsoalfonsi how many hours or even days it takes them to create their stem contents.


source: public domain pictures

Personally, my content style has evolved with time, with no thanks to what people perceive to be original content on the platform. I have tried to move away from literature review-based stem posts to creating content around real-life, day-to-day, scientific issues. They are not only easier to put together but also seem to be more relatable and acceptable to users on the platform. I mean, I can easily discuss a food poison I suffered from consuming food from a fast food outlet than trying to read tens of scientific publications because I want to write on diarrhea, causes, symptoms, and treatments.

I understand that it is important for one to create content that others can relate to but not all science posts can be written in such a manner. I mean, how low would you have to drop without losing the scientific element in order to write an article on the black hole that would be 100% relatable to the layman. Even many scientists are still yet to come to terms with the topic. If we will only reward original research science content, what we are saying is that 99.9% of the stem content here on hive does not deserve to be rewarded.

The bottom line still borders around the fact that science is not given the necessary respect and recognition it deserves. Hive is fast becoming a repertoire of contents around different topics and if Web 3.0 eventually becomes mainstreaming, here will most likely be the Wikipedia of everything. We shouldn't look down on content just because we cannot relate to them or they do not serve our interests.

Thank you all for reading my rant.


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