Scientists and the Pursuit of Knowledge

Well, the latest episode of Conversations in Science has now aired, and it was LIVE. OMG, I can't believe I even agreed to doing that. I felt like I was constantly rambling — but what's done is done. This month's topic: The Science March, Scientists and the True Pursuit of Knowledge.


Scientists and the Pursuit of Knowlege
(First aired on KLRNRadio, Monday, May 1, 2017)

Science is an interesting area, one that is often relegated to the background. Scientists are not quick to make judgements. They like to ensure everything is correct — the t's crossed and the i's dotted. And when they finally do release their results to the public, they expect someone to challenge them. Another scientist will see those results and want to test it for themselves. This process, called science, leads to knowledge that is found not by just a single person, but by a whole group of people from around the world.

When politicians decide that science is alternative facts and repeatedly ignore what science is actually telling them... When governments say to their scientists that they must keep their mouths shut...

On April 22, 2017, history happened. Scientists from our world chose to leave the safe confines of their labs and took to the streets. Scientists took off their lab coats and picked up protest signs. 

A Protest Sine.

Science is not imaginary. Science does not have a political agenda.

That was the real message that those who participated in the march were trying to convey. Unfortunately, because the farce nature that was given to the Science March, I don't think the public at large really understood the magnitude of the situation. Don't get me wrong. Some of those signs were outright hilarious, but there were some that spoke the bitter truth. 

At the start of every disaster movie, there's a scientist being ignored.

Too many times we've seen it in fiction, but fiction is a mirror for what we know in our hearts. Science is telling us a message, one that we can not continue to ignore. That is why scientists took to the streets for the historic march. Politicians around the world need to stop deluding themselves and look at the data before them. 

On April 19, 2017, Neil deGrasse Tyson, a world renowned astrophysicist, released a video on StarTalk Radio. In it, he said:

When you have an established scientific emergent truth, it is true whether or not you believe in it, and the sooner you understand that, the faster we can get on with the political conversations about how to solve the problems that face us.

Recognize what science is and allow it to be what it can and should be in the service of civilisation. It's in our hands.

 

There is a peer-review process to scientific research, one in which scientists challenge and test the results from other scientists. Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke about the process in his video. I described the process on my show. This process creates no doubt on what is real, except in the eyes of those who deliberately choose to ignore the truth.

Scientists relish in the idea that their theories might be wrong. You present them with something that doesn't fit and they want to know why. It's all about discovering how the world works. No politics. Just facts.

Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now and just let you listen to the latest episode of Conversations in Science.

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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017

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