If society collapsed who would you look to?

watchmenOne of the most interesting parts of my job is getting to read new and interesting research. LS:N conducted a survey recently and some of the results made it into their recent event The Long Near.

One in particular caught my attention. If society were to collapse survey respondents  would place the most faith in scientists (49%) to restore it, above business leaders (18%) and politicians (14%).

Two things struck me about this – the use of the word faith and the majority of people placing that faith in scientists.

Firstly, I would contend that it’s foolish to place your faith in scientists to restore society in the event of societal collapse. Their core skillset has nothing to do with administering complex systems of social good or even simply social function. They might be clever and create excellent solutions to problems but actually implementing those solutions through understanding people, motivating them, getting them to work together on a grand scale, giving them hope and empowering them are not the skillset of scientists job. That’s actually the job and the skillset of politicians – whatever you might think of them in the current context.

Secondly, I think this shows how much the religion of our society has become science. We are placing complete trust and confidence in science and the priests are the scientists. So much so that we actually think they can sort out any social ill or problem.

It’s telling that this research has come out in advance of an election: telling and depressing.



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