Vilifying the Educated and the Death and Rebirth of Higher Education

Vilifying the Educated and the Death and Rebirth of Higher Education May 11, 2020

The current situation places the wellbeing not just of individuals but societies and the world at serious risk. It is a time when the widespread rejection of expertise and embrace of misinformation has reached, if you will, pandemic levels. And yet the economic impact of the literal pandemic can make this situation all the worse, as funding for public universities and the financial situation of private universities is jeopardized, and as students who wanted to study find themselves forced to forego their plans due to the cost and their own economic circumstances. Universities have been the focal point for a very long time of both the cultivation of expertise and specialized in-depth training, and the pushing back and expansion of the boundaries of our understanding.

Hopefully one long-term impact of the pandemic, and the ability to compare how things unfolded in retrospect, will be a recognition even in the United States that, as Sheila Kennedy writes, “One of the many lessons of the current pandemic is that electing leaders who sneer at expertise and make war on science was a big mistake.” But there are lots of things that could foster a shift towards the political right instead.

I am hopeful that higher education will emerge from the current situation renewed and with innovative approaches to its role as a place of expertise with a responsibility to combat misinformation and promote not only reliable information but also information literacy if not indeed fluency.

Also related to the current climate in a variety of ways that intersect with those explored here are the following. See in particular the first link, which addresses a meme that perpetuates myths about education and the educated.

Don’t Vilify Educated People

Applying the CRAAP test to Plandemic

God’s Bible School and College received money from the U.S. government while other more mainstream schools with more students did not.

The Unraveling President

The Politics Of White Male Grievance

Lies Kill (in more than one way)

The Culture Wars Have Jumped the Shark

COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast

Doctors Fed Up With Conspiracy Theorists

Conspiracy theorists have different minds than other people

A memory verse for the era of conspiracy theories

Let’s Not Allow Our Renewing Trust in Science to Become the Latest Victim of Covid-19

OPINION: When it comes to liberal-arts education, online learning changes only the tools

So What CAN You Do With a History Major?–Part 58

Science and the Pandemic

How Science Trumps Denial

FLICC away science denial:

Stephen Wolfram attempts to do an end run around the scientific process of peer review

Data literacy – using data

And finally:


 

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