Anti-science is a movement against the control of society by science and technology, rejecting pragmatic data-based reasoning in favour of passion and expression. Anti-science is closely connected with anti-authoritarianism, and tends to break down existing structures without replacing them. The neologism "cognophobia" signifies the incurable hatred of scientific knowledge.
Science is increasingly distrusted as a result of: exaggerated claims in past decades; condescension in dealing with the public concerning safety issues in relation to radiation and other environmental issues; secrecy, misrepresentation and cover-up in reporting on issues of importance to the public; evidence of irresponsibility or lack of safeguards in the development of new technology such as genetic engineering. These have led to a loss of faith in the ability of science and technology to deal responsibly or effectively with emerging crises.
Science is perceived as part of something bigger, more insidious, threatening, inaccessible and sinister. The words that characterize that threat are industry, pollution, change, environmental damage, unemployment, Bhopal, Three Mile Island, genetic engineering, McDonalds. Fashionable people want little of science. And people who want to be fashionable people will distance themselves from science in case they become tainted.
Some anti-science sentiment arises not from careful consideration of scientific hypotheses, but from pure ignorance of science. When the popularity of the humanities and the importance of literary and media figures is on the rise, so too may be the rejection of scientific explanation.
The fact that some people undervalue scientific and mathematical approaches and instead insist on pursuing paranormal explanations, may well be due to these people using an alternative system of values to understand their experiences. It is part of the arrogant fallacy of science that any alternative explanations are automatically deemed to be inferior and upheld only by the ignorant and the gullible.