As the badges on the sidebar indicate, Panda’s Thumb has received several honors in the blogosphere – Scientific American’s Science and Technology Web Award, Finalist in the 2006 Weblogs Awards, and two inclusions in OpenLab. Now we’ve received another, a high ranking in blogs dealing with P-12 education. Dangerously Irrelevant has compiled a ranking of such blogs using Technorati’s data, and PT ranks 5th on the list. We’re honored by that ranking.
There is an asterisk, however, since the author of Dangerously Irrelevant acknowledges that the Thumb may not fit comfortably in the category of blogs devoted to primary through grade 12 education. However, if one scans the categories in the sidebar, there are something like 490 posts dealing with education, most of them public school education. So we’re comfortable in the company on Dangerously Irrelevant’s list.
Excellent science education is absolutely critical to the welfare of humanity. The anti-science Dis-enlightenment that is the goal of outfits like the Discovery Institute and Answers in Genesis seriously threatens not only the United States, but the world. To the extent that policy decisions are being made about biomedical research, medical practice, global warming, epidemiology, vaccines, and so on, all in ignorance of the science underpinning the recommendations of experts, we are all at risk. When citizens – voters – depend on ignorant or deceptive claims about science we are all at risk. When people spend billions of dollars on quackery like homeopathic remedies that dilute their supposedly active ingredients down so far that not a single molecule remains in the preparation, they are at risk. Understanding the process of science is critical to an informed citizenry, and we’re proud to do our bit to help that understanding.