Will Bunch notes that it has been 52 years since Americans landed on the moon–a feat made possible by science, Science, after all, is the pursuit of fact. He considers why so many Americans now reject science (think vaccines, for example). A nugget (emphasis added):
Less than a year after Apollo 11 came the first Earth Day — scientists warning that industrial progress threatened environmental destruction — and also the massacre at Kent State, amid a backlash of the so-called “silent majority” against what was happening on college campuses where many researchers are employed. Just like the lunar module, distrust in modern science was engineered by humans — billionaire industrialists who funded pro-fossil-fuel think tanks, and right-wing talk radio and later cable TV ratings seekers who mocked effete “tree huggers.”
Indeed, wealthy capitalists and the politicians who aided the backlash and rode it to victories — Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan — were so successful that distrust in science and the conspiracy theories that flow from that distrust now spread as virally as COVID-19 itself, among everyday folks on social media sites like Facebook. Albeit with an occasional booster shot from the most cynical media celebrities like Fox’s Tucker Carlson.
I commend his article to your attention.