Jefferson’s central idea of democracy is that “whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Jefferson thought it required “no very high degree” of education for people to be well-enough informed. But what happens in a world dominated by complex science? Are the people still well-enough informed to be trusted with their own government? Why or why not? Today, science is under political attack like never before. At the same time, science impacts almost every aspect of modern life, and is poised to create more knowledge in the next 40 years than in all of recorded history. Can we expect attacks to increase or lessen? Why is this happening? Why is it so much worse in the United States than the UK or EU? Why are people the world over protesting against both autocratic and democratic governments? Can democracy survive the rush of science? We’ll compare strategies scientists and journalists can use online and off to manage these emerging science challenges – together with a world of unsolved legacy environmental science challenges – for science and better public policy.