Difficulties in applying knowledge
Inapplicability of formal learning
Scientists are not naturally interested in the problems posed by the threats to human survival, since such problems are only rarely attractive for "pure" research. Commercial interests with research facilities are also not interested, especially since it is often their cost-cutting practices which create the problems in the first place. Government agencies are also not interested since their officials sincerely believe that absence of evidence is the same as evidence of absence of risk. In addition, for new problems, no agency may have a mandate to deal with it anyway. Society currently depends on the activities of independent, unauthorized pressure groups, aided by the media, to create some degree of panic against which all official and academic reassurances are unavailing. Only then are efforts made to apply knowledge effectively to respond to the threats to society.