What symbol could possibly stand for all of science? Wolpe offers no suggestions, merely noting that it would have to be simple, versatile, instantly recognizable, and all-encompassing; "a double helix alone," he says, wouldn't make the cut, "as it does not take in astronomy or particle physics."
The idea may sound appealing at first — but upon further examination, the plausibility of a universal symbol for science comes across as silly, and maybe even a little dubious. Not that the things it would stand for — "the integrity of the endeavour, the need for rigorous objectivity in politics and education, and the need for clear jurisdictional boundaries between religion, ideology and science," in Wolpe's words — aren't worth believing in, defending, or advocating in a more public fashion. (I agree with Wolpe's sentiment that the scientifically minded tend to be less visible in the community.) But a single, unified symbol seems to go against so many of the very things it would stand to represent.
Science is constantly progressing in ways that would make a unified symbol seem short-sighted, or even presumptuous. A symbol would reinforce criticism from those who argue that science is more cronyism and ivory-tower intellectualism than it is intense self-reflection, rigorous re-evaluation, and ruthless scrutiny. A symbol is a generalization. Situated beside the enterprise of scientific inquiry, a universal symbol — a "bumper sticker," as Wolpe puts it — somehow feels cheap, gimmicky, lazy.
But maybe I'm all wet. I encourage you to check out the full editorial over at New Scientist.