Resisting Science: A Brief History

Resisting Science: A Brief History

In this new video, we capture examples from history when people rejected scientific breakthroughs at first, only for the march of progress to continue.

What makes people turn against science? After two years of a global pandemic, the world has never felt more divided on questions of science. But this is not a new phenomenon. People have resisted scientific and technological advances throughout history.

This video by Leaps.org, with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, captures noteworthy examples from history when people rejected science. What do these cases have in common? Scientific breakthroughs can be revolutionary, but revolutions can be disorienting and anxiety-producing. They transform our livelihoods, culture and even our understanding of what it means to be human. But there's reason for optimism. Many of history’s controversies were overcome. Science has a way of enduring, because it changes things for the better.

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Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
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Luke Chesser - Unsplash

Today’s podcast guest is Rosalind Picard, a researcher, inventor named on over 100 patents, entrepreneur, author, professor and engineer. When it comes to the science related to endowing computer software with emotional intelligence, she wrote the book. It’s published by MIT Press and called Affective Computing.

Dr. Picard is founder and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group. Her research and engineering contributions have been recognized internationally. For example, she received the 2022 International Lombardy Prize for Computer Science Research, considered by many to be the Nobel prize in computer science.

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Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.