Meet Ars Hermeneutica

Our mission is to advance
science and increase the public
understanding of science.

We envision a scientifically
literate America.

There are many rewarding reasons to learn about science, but why should someone learn about science? The best reason we can think of is this: everyone can use a good snake-oil detector.

An educated citizen is the ideal participant in a democracy. Ponder today’s public-policy topics: global warming, stem-cell research, bird-flu epidemics, biohazardous warfare, “peak oil”, alternative energies, endangered species, etc. Without some grounding in rational skepticism and analytical reasoning, a person can’t even enter the conversation, let alone distinguish the charlatans and demagogues who are driven by their own agendas and who try to manipulate science for their own ends rather than the public good. Without some skills in rational skepticism and analytical reasoning, this citizen is disenfranchised and too easily exploited.

We believe that many want to be interested in science but are so overwhelmed by the imposing and seemingly impenetrable edifice of science that they are discouraged. The challenge we’ve accepted is to show people the way in and to excite their interest in science so that they can discover science on their own. We intend to catalyze their personal science experience.

When we incorporated Ars Hermeneutica, Limited, in November 2004, it was in a relatively intense anti-scientific time. Global warming was claimed to be scientifically controversial and there were mounting rumors that the Republican White House was suppressing relevant scientific results. Darwinian evolution was claimed to be scientifically controversial and court cases were playing out that tried to force school districts to design their science curricula based on political or religious rather than scientific considerations. Allegations of political breaches of scientific integrity were rife.

American society has always had an uneasy relationship with enlightenment ideals: anti-intellectualism is a widespread national affliction. At its root is a critical failure to comprehend science, its results and methods, and its value in everyday life. That’s why we created Ars Hermeneutica as a nonprofit research and education corporation with a commitment to improving the public understanding of science.

“Ars Hermeneutica” translates from the Latin as “the art of understanding and communication”, which summarizes our interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It also encompasses our educational goals. Our name encapsulates our vision of a scientifically literate America and our strategy for achieving it.

Ars Hermeneutica, Limited, is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to scientific research and education. The company is recognized as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service and all contributions to Ars Hermeneutica are tax deductible as allowed by law.