Science Research is Important! Here’s why.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a paleontologist, geologist, philosopher, and Jesuit priest, wrote: “The history of the living world is an elaboration of ever more perfect eyes in a cosmos in which there is always something new to be seen.” Humans have long sought answers to the mysteries of the natural world. Eventually, our curiosity helped us to develop the scientific method.

 

Today, support for basic scientific research in the United States is shrinking. There are fewer opportunities for careers in research, and we are attracting less and less qualified students both domestically and abroad. This is alarming as the neglect of basic research could be disastrous for our society and our species.

 

As stated by Daniel Kleppner, a physicist at MIT, “If our civilization succeeds in learning to live in harmony with the natural world, science will have played a crucial role in the transition.” Right now, we must convince Congress of this urgent fact. There is much to be optimistic about: the numbers of scientifically literate citizens and members of Congress are growing. But we must speak up about the importance of basic research if we are to save it.

Image result for climate change

Climate change is a serious and life-threatening hurdle for our species. We need new ways to deal with the rapid change in our climate and in our ecosystems. In fact, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) concludes “that previous reports erred in being to cautious: The time to stem the flow of greenhouse gases is shorter than had been estimated. We face the possibility of a runaway situation in which an increase in global temperature feeds back to accelerate global heating. Such a process would lead to a massive change in climate and a catastrophic elevation of sea level. We face a threat to civilization.”

Basic research has brought us tools and techniques that allow us to measure data critical to understanding Earth and the cosmos. For example, GPS few out of simple curiosity about general relativity, studies of atomic nuclei brought us the invention of MRI, and experiments of molecules in space lead to the development of the laser.

Yayy science for bringing us lasers!!
Humanity needs basic research to explore the mysteries of our existence as well as to ensure our species continues to thrive in harmony with nature. We need scientists from all backgrounds to bring new ideas and novel solutions to the table. We need you, dear reader, to ask your most burning questions and to seek answers using whatever tools and resources are available. And of course, to promote science in the classroom, in the community, and in Congress.

 

Please consider calling your local, state, and federal representatives and urge them to support funding for basic scientific research. Our very lives depend on it.

 

 

The inspiration for this post:
https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.4194

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