So we had the anniversary yesterday. And once again, like a year ago, scientists made signs and got out there for some collective action. I applaud this. During my time at NSF, I had to be more circumspect, but to my mind the first step to regaining the trust that science deserves is to humanize the discoverers themselves so that they are seen by the media and public as real people as opposed to TV caricatures.
Will this work in the short-term? I don’t think so. If you take a look at the protest signs in the hyperlink, the sense of humor is a bit too ironic to have mass appeal, but I do think the faces of young US scientists, obviously passionate about their life’s work–that will get noticed and it may begin a process which is long overdue: where scientists are valued as members of the workforce in the same way that physicians or pilots are–to say nothing of police officers or military members.