Remember when you were a child and every day was about discovering something new? We're all born with a burning curiosity - a need to discover new things. We don't all need to be academic researchers, but we can all learn to be scientific in our thinking and satisfy our curiosity.
In our world, scientific thinking can help to tell apart glorious discoveries from fake news. There is a huge need to find a balance between child-like wonder and mature, healthy skepticism. This peculiar combination of traits allows us to be open to all new ideas and at the same time rigorous about what we accept as true.
But why is science vital for us all?
You can list stuff from combustion engines and electricity to modern food crops and medicine, but as revolutionary as these technologies have been, they represent only one side of the societal impact of science. Another side to it is using science as a way of thinking.
Being open minded and thinking critically at the same time develops as we grow, but only if nurtured properly. In our early years the focus should definitely be in sparking and fueling the light of curiosity as our friends at Fun Academy with Space Nation Kids program and Lightneer with Big Bang Legends have so brilliantly understood.
As well as sparking curiosity, here at Psyon Games we try to serve skeptical thinking in healthy doses. This helps us to refine our early ideas, deepen our understanding of a subject and acknowledge the limits of what we know.
Games : a gateway to thinking
We all agree it's really important to have a skeptical approach towards what can be seen in the media in the era of fake news, alternative facts and whatnot. You can't see bacteria or viruses or your body's internal super fighters - so what are they doing?
That's why Psyon Games' Antidote shows you how vaccines protect from deadly diseases. When you end up asking how, the game will show you how B cells target pathogens with antibodies to give your immune system an advantage.
This may lead you to wondering what goes into a vaccine to make it activate the B cell like that. You recognize what you've learnt and what's yet to be answered, and when you ask the questions, we'll guide you to reliable information.
Many people hear a negative tone to the word "skepticism" as it's often confused with cynicism and denial. While cynics question intent, and deniers won't accept evidence, skeptics demand evidence for claims. Skepticism is a healthy protection against being ripped off, and it helps you to cherish truly promising ideas.
When you mix together a broad education, a healthy dose of wonder, and a balancing spoonful of skepticism, you get scientific literacy. This gives you the power to judge what is right, wrong, or perhaps most importantly, unknown.
In addition to not losing your money to a fake health product sales person (e.g. buying rocks in a bag for $85 hoping it to improve your life), scientific literacy lets us join in with developing society.
The better we understand something, the less we fear it. We are more likely to participate in scientific studies as volunteers, or donate to a cause if we understand the significance of our contribution.
Science literate people are the guardians of galaxy
In democracies, the people and the media must watch over the decision makers. With more and more decisions needing an understanding of science, and how technology can be applied to solve problems, what can we do to ensure that the decision makers know what they are doing?
The problems of the 21st century include halting the rising temperatures of our planet, saving and restoring land and ocean ecosystems we depend on and dealing with antimicrobial resistant super bacteria. To do this, our decision makers need expertise.
Experts in each of these fields can warn us of the coming dangers, but solutions to problems of this magnitude require global efforts. Whether there is political will to take action boils down to active, scientifically literate members of society. People who dare to speculate, while courageously rejecting ideas that fail, and passionately pursuing that which works.
We are proud to say science and education are booming in the Finnish startup scene. Along with others we are really feeling it and want to provide surfing boards for everyone to ride the science wave with us.
We will make science great again - together!
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