Climate change, one of the most defining issues of the 21st century with devastating ramifications, could potentially result in the cessation of humanity and millions of other biotic species. According to environmental scientists, urgent action must be taken to alleviate the causes aggravating the climate crisis by 2030. And yet, governments, corporations and the general population have been slow to act. The truth is, climate change is a problem of today, and we must act today. Sustaining our survival on this planet is a collective issue.
Scientific truth is not perfect, not permanent, not immediate, and not necessarily the ultimate truth. Science does not deliver the ‘meaning of life’ truth – but science is always getting closer to the truth. While science is humanity’s transcending achievement, science as a way of thinking is an evolving enterprise. What makes science work? What constitutes good science? What are the boundaries of science? How deep can science dig into the foundations of the world? These are the kinds of questions that “philosophy of science” asks. However, some scientists dismiss philosophy as archaic, a hindrance to science, a nuisance to its progress.
Since scientific knowledge doesn’t become depleted when shared, and once published in the public domain it is available to be accessed by anyone, it can be characterized as public goods. CERN, as a large-scale multinational scientific establishment, presents an ideal example to study the public value of scientific output. The study summarized below, published by researchers at the University Santiago de Compostela as part of the Science Policy Reports book series, constructs the perception of the public towards scientific activities at CERN by analyzing big data collected via Twitter posts.