Science Festival

Friday, June 03, 2011

Steven Weinberg, director of the Theory Research Group at the University of Texas at Austin and Nobel Laureate in physics and Brian Greene, co-founder of the World Science Festival, professor of mathematics & physics at Columbia University, and author of The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, talk about the state of scientific exploration and education funding.


Brian Greene and Steven Weinberg

Comments [3]


What your guest expressed as the importance of "Big Science" is what makes people nervous. The unacknowledged fact is that Big Science is a form of religion, and has never left the mindset of the medieval theologians which used to guide it. These are the new "God-Builders" of the 21st Century, looking to find a new unified Law (Dharma/Dogma) that will transform Man into God. Personally, I am one of the people that think what is most important to us are exactly those issues addressing how we live together fairly and equitably, and clearly establishing our dignity and rights. We will only doing that by developing communication and relationships between people. Technology only has a secondary role to play in this and should be tightly controlled. I do not want to control Nature, I want to learn to live with it. Smashing particles together has led to Fukishima among other disasters and apparently these men of rationality failed to recognise the fact that they have built >20 reactors in a small country that recieves one third of all the earthquakes on the planet. So much for Reason. Even more disturbingly, in the area of genetics, the implications of this "Big Science" credo is truly terrifying. Like a variant on the famous NRA argument, Big Science says it is not science that is the problem it's the way it's used, a convient cop out from any ethical considerations, providing it's own equivalent of a Papal dispensation. Your guests' lip-service to the education of the plebs is unconvincing at best and disingenuous at worst. Science has built it's own Ivory Tower which it is essentially happy with. Forgive me, but I will continue to be a skeptic of the celebration/worship of "Big Science" as I am toward any other faith based system.

Jun. 03 2011 12:03 PM

I always thought the space program was a colossal waste of money.

And schools are not preparing kids for much of anything in mathematics and the sciences--which why we're lagging behind other industrialized countries.

Jun. 03 2011 11:43 AM
ron from keyport nj

Kids today are over protected, and are held back from experimenting on their own.
Technology is so integrated that the components to play with are very limited.
Science is fun up to a point. It then becomes pretty difficult.

Jun. 03 2011 11:38 AM

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