Professional scientists may complain about science popularizers and all the inaccuracies, oversimplifications, or even just outright falsehoods that are published to the credulous masses, but I think this all just underscores how important are the jobs of so-called “middle management” whose jobs it is to help the common culture gain at least some connection to the work of the brightest minds (the ‘geniuses’) Those who recognize (too often with considerable arrogance thrown in) their own status among the brightest may often despise “the man on the street”, but these geniuses show the limited, highly selective nature of their genius if they do so, because that common person is, after all, a participant in society, a voter, a consumer, a parent, a decision-maker about many things like vaccines, etc. And for any of the brightest to think they can carry on their research independently of the rest of the working world would be like thinking you can have a knife edge without any other supporting substance behind that edge. It simply wouldn’t exist. Geniuses don’t even get to be geniuses without patient childhood and adolescent teachers. And nor would they live in a world where there work could mean anything to anyone (much less find application) without something of an educational “middle class” that can grasp their work enough to appreciate or even begin to apply it.
And that “middle class” is in large part created through the publishings of the “Billy Grahams” of the intellectual world - the ones who can be something of a go-between, helping the common person make connections to the more challenging concepts. Thank God for good science writers and popularizers. I doubt science would exist at all today without people like them.
Sorry that this didn’t have much to do with Penner - but I’ll bet there is a parallel to all this in the world of piety and seminary as well.
I hope to do more “chapter 6” discussion - maybe from the epilogue. Like you, @Kendel, I’m not done; even though work currently prevents me from being able to take much time here right now.