Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

What does basic science do for me?

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Why should we invest in fundamental research? Basic science does not solve today’s problems, so how can we justify diverting valuable resources from immediate needs? Researchers in the most esoteric fields such as string theory and high energy physics have no idea how their work will lead to something practical.

There are two valuable consequences of basic science: (1) the generation of new knowledge and understanding that could not be anticipated by linear extrapolation; and (2) the training of bright minds that make direct contributions to our society. In short, science is an investment in the future. Most of the amazing technologies that we take for granted in the first part of the 21st century resulted from the fruits of basic science in the first half of the 20th century. (more…)

When debate is pointless

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Public debate is an essential ingredient of democracy. By encouraging both sides to present the most convincing argument, the facts surface and allow the rest of us to make up our minds. However, this process only works if the individuals involved are interested in making an informed assessment of the issues. At some point the facts emerge and the debate is over.