The Media is Not The Bad Guy: Pseudoscience and Fantasy in Mass Media
“Society is constantly and relentlessly bombarded with media presentations of pseudoscience, fantasy and the paranormal.”
As a future media professional, this quote troubled me. Frankly, any quote that questions “the media” troubles me because in this age of technology (which science created) everyone is the media. We are all contributing to online conversation, if not creating it, and constantly putting information out there for the world. There is no longer a media with gatekeepers that control what information is shared or distributed to the public. The public is now in control, and the public likes to look at science imaginatively.
There is an eerily similar parallel between this quote’s view of media and science of the 19th century’s view of religion. It’s almost as if as technology continues to grow, society is shifting from blaming science for the downfall of religion to blaming technology for the downfall of science. This is interesting since when the debate between science and religion began, they were viewed by most to intermix; the same is true for science and technology right now, but the two seem to be colliding more and more.
In regards to science and fantasy, this quote is especially bothersome to me. Yes, society is continually “bombarded” by fantasy and science fiction, but a lot of the time, normal people that would not ordinarily be called “the media” are the ones creating these pieces of scientific popular culture. Take fan fiction for example. It is exactly what its title suggests: fiction created by fans. The stories are dominated by science fiction and fantasy genre-based stories such as Doctor Who and Harry Potter. People love the amount of imagination that can be explored in these science-based stories, and since we are the media in this technology-driven generation, there is no politically driven “media” to speak of that is ruining the sanctity of science as this quote suggests.
I think that it is important to preserve pseudoscience, fantasy and the paranormal because it provides a way to keep imagination flowing. As we discover more cold, hard facts through science, imagination will be killed off if there is not a way to express it. Science just happens to be so vast with possibilility that people find it to be a spring of inspiration. For this reason, I encourage people to continue to tweet, post, reblog, like, favorite, and subscribe to media outlets that revolve around science-based fantasy, because without this, imagination will become a thing of the past.