deep and ambitious questions....breathtaking in scope. Keep watching
The World Question Center."
Is Today's Most Important Unreported Story?"
assume for a second that Ted Koppel, Charlie Rose and the editorial
high command at the New York Times have a handle on all
the pressing issues of the day.... a lengthy list of profound,
esoteric and outright entertaining responses. San Jose
Mercury News ("Web Site for Intellectuals Inspires Serious
Questions Have Disappeared?"
to this year's question are deliciously creative... the variety
astonishes. Edge continues to launch intellectual skyrockets
of stunning brilliance. Nobody in the world is doing what Edge
is doing." (Arts & Letters Daily)
ARENA: Edge has been bringing together the world's foremost scientific
thinkers since 1998, and the response to September 11 was measured
(The Sunday Times)
thinkers of the "Third Culture," whether they, like
Dawkins, study evolutionary biology at Oxford or, like Alan Alda,
portray scientists on Broadway, know no taboos. Everything is
permitted, and nothing is excluded from this intellectual game.
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the world,
and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?"
responses to date
deep and ambitious questions....breathtaking in scope. Keep
watching The World Question Center." New Scientist
are the pressing scientific issues for the nation and the
world, and what is your advice on how I can begin to deal
with them?" — GWB
following message is the basis for the 6th Annual
Edge Question. I sent individualized emails
to the third culture mail list as in the example below,
addressed to Steven Pinker, the first participant
Brockman" <address restricted>
To: "Steven Pinker" <address
Subject: THE EDGE ANNUAL QUESTION 2003
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
This just in from Washington...
"George W. Bush" <address restricted>
To: "John Brockman" <address
Subject: Science Advisor
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002
I appreciate your taking the time to recommend
the appointment of Steven Pinker to be my
next science advisor and I am pleased to
hear of his interest in the position.
am impressed with the resume of Dr. Pinker
which you sent earlier. Could you please
ask him to prepare a memo which answers
the following question:
"What are the pressing scientific
issues for the nation and the world, and
what is your advice on how I can begin
to deal with them?"
addition to obvious issues that have dominated
the headlines during my first two years
in office, I would hope to hear about less
obvious scientific issues as well.
need the memo by the end of December.
Thank you for your help.
wish the above was really an email from President
Bush. It is not. It's the set-up for this
year's Edge Annual Question
2003, and because this event receives wide
attention from the scientific community and
the global press, the responses it evokes
just might have the same effect as a memo
to the President....that is, if you stick
to science and to those scientific areas where
you have expertise.
I am asking members of the Edge community
to take this project seriously as a public
service, to work together to create a document
that can be widely disseminated to begin a
public discussion about the important scientific
issues before us.
Address your memo to the President and very
briefly add your credentials (as in the example
below). I will post the responses as they
come in. Please email your response to me
on or before January 1, 2003 for publication
the week of January 6th.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Publisher & Editor
January 6, 2003
A selection of the responses below were excerpted
by The New York Times Op-Ed Page on Saturday,
January 4, 2003.
Engine of Prosperity
Academics Demand a New Science Policy from Bush
by Andrian Kreye
January 14, 2003
Because the last decade brought forth not only
scientific successes, but also a new scientific culture,
the struggle for the future no longer takes place in privileged
circles, but on the public stage...The worldview with
the greatest profile in this regard is the "third
culture," because it attempts to find scientific
answers to the most important questions facing humanity.
New York literary agent John Brockman coined the term...and
conducts its most important debating club on his internet
platform, Edge (http://www.edge.org).
translation | German
— Criticism — Debate
January 6, 2003
and Opinion (Lead
If you had the President’s ear, what would you advise
him was the most urgent scientific issue the country faces?
Energy? Stem-cell research? Bioterror? Science teaching?...
Posted by timothy on Monday January 06, @04:15AM
from the what-would-sauron-do dept.
writes "The responses to this year's Edge.org question
have been published; basically, people were asked to imagine
they were nominated as White House science adviser and
the President asked them what are some important issues
in science and what we should do about them. There are
84 responses, ranging in topic from advanced nanotechnology
to the psychology of foreign cultures, and lots of ideas
regarding science, technology, politics, and education.
The responses were written by academics (e.g. Roger Schank,
Marvin Minsky), journalists (Kevin Kelly), Nobel Laureates
(Eric Kandel), and others (Alan Alda). Some of responses
are politically loaded but the majority has either a more
specialised proposal, or general remarks about our world.
Many are absolutely fascinating: funny, insightful, interesting,
hell even informative. ... One of the most public supporters
of the Singularity 'religion', Ray Kurzweil, is a regular
at Edge, and currently discussed issues range from said
transhumanism to early-universe theories, and many other
kinds of exciting and novel science." (
January 4, 2003
the end of every year, John Brockman, a literary agent
and the publisher of Edge.org,
a Web site devoted to science, poses a question to leading
scientists, writers and futurists. In 2002, he asked respondents
to imagine that they had been nominated as White House
science adviser and that President Bush had sought their
answer to "What are the pressing scientific issues for
the nation and the world, and what is your advice on how
I can begin to deal with them?" Here are excerpts of some
of the responses.
the Planet Professor PlayStation Little
Geniuses Think Small Science Without Secrets
Fending Off the Big One Intellectual Globalization
Cassandras of the Labs Really Popular Science
here for The New York Times Op-Ed pagefree
W: Scientists Offer
By SHARON BEGLEY
President Advice on Policy
Congratulations! President George W. Bush is considering
asking you to serve as his science adviser. He asks that
you write him a memo addressing, "What are the pressing
scientific issues for the nation and the world, and what
is your advice on how I can begin to deal with them?"
So begins this year's online question from Edge, an e-salon
of leading scientists and members of the "Third Culture"
(in answer to C.P. Snow's scientists vs. humanists)...
This year—with smallpox vaccination, bioterror, stem-cell
research, climate change, energy policy and missile defense
dominating news—the annual question eschews intellectual
posturing and gets down to practicalities...
can improve your own science education at www.edge.org,
where the Edge memos will be available January 6.
here for articlesubscription required]
a simple story that sums up the perils of global terrorism. "Once
there were two people sitting in a rowboat. One suddenly
started making a hole on his side of the boat. The other
screamed. The first countered and said, 'What do you
care what I do on my side of the boat?'" [more...]
type of research we pursue is not neary as important as
the horizon. [more...]
and the nation are inextricably intertwined. The economic
and military strength of the county is based upon the technologies
that have sprung from our basic science research. Likewise
our medical system is fully dependent on a mixture of medical
research and physical sciences detector development. Thus
the health, well being, safety of our country's citizens depends
very directly on the technological fruits of scientific research.
typical college student who has studied Arabic for a year
has essentially learned how to decode text and utter simple
sentences—which is useless in decoding a memo written
in running script by a terrorist, or even in understanding
a speech by an Arab official.
technology as a learning partner across the curriculum.
This strategy is important for improving learning,
developing computer literacy, and for inviting
a variety of users, including girls, into technology. [more...]
than fixate on controlling greenhouse gases, which are politically
hard to suppress, I suggest a new, innovative research program
directed at the central global problem: warming. A partial
cure can come from simple methods, until now little studied.
problem of political and religious fanaticism is beyond
the scope separately of psychology, political science,
or historical study. An interdisciplinary program building
upon current efforts but addressing the issues with
the use of multiple methods is needed. [more...]
rocketing growth comes from exploiting non-renewables: coal
since 1800 and oil since 1900, for example. US oil peaked
about 15 years ago; global supplies should peak in about
10-15 years. There are semi-practical alternatives available
or at least conceivable to let us get by on renewables,
but virtually no one really sees the importance.
a climate of growing religious fundamentalism and
rising skepticism about science, the scientific community
itself has began to understand the importance of
reaching out to the wider public. [more...]
research in the United States has a distinguished record of
contributing to knowledge and to new medical treatments. In
the same way, research with cells derived from cloned human
embryos will offer unique opportunities to study many extremely
unpleasant diseases, perhaps one day to have treatments for
these diseases and also to produce safer medicines. This research
cannot be carried out in any other way. [more...]
With the genetic material
in hand of organisms such as human, mouse, and fruit fly,
researchers now have the opportunity to understand these complex
creatures so that we may one day better treat disease, fully
understand evolutionary biology, and thus understand the most
fundamental aspects of life and how we as humans function.
Your father called himself the education president,
and you have promised new educational policies in which"no
child is left behind." [more...]
my proposal is on a different front: to dramatically increase
funding for promising new methodologies in the field of "human
somatic cell engineering," which bypass entirely fetal stem
cells. These emerging technologies create new tissues with
a patient's own DNA by modifying one type of cell (such as
a skin cell) directly into another (such as a pancreatic Islet
cell or a heart cell) without the use of fetal stem cells.
insights in developmental biology—our similarities to
not only chimpanzees and baboons, but to fruit flies and worms,
the genomic revolution and the invigorated emergence of neuroscience
are all candidates for unforgettable discoveries. They must
be pursued with all the means at our disposal. I would like
to address a totally different one: the birth of our universe. [more...]
Science does not allocate
equal time or space to all ideas once the winnowing process
of quality assessment has begun. To follow the political doctrine
of "balance" diminishes democracy since it distorts the knowledge
base upon which sound decisions should be made.
number one priority in science and technology should be a
new commitment to international public health. It is not a
particularly sexy topic; it needs no new nano-know-how, nor
a radical change in our way of seeing the physical world.
It will create no great technical advantage for America, nor
add to its already impressive defenses. Though it will employ
the talents of hundreds of thousands around the world, relatively
few of them will be on the cutting edge of research. But it
is what you must do, nonetheless. [more...]
would urge you to set aside perhaps a billion dollars to fund
new fellowships for graduate students from predominantly Islamic
countries to come and study science (broadly construed) in
the United States. [more...]
is public knowledge. But science is not the only field where
openness is important. The security failures of 9/11 were
caused not by too little, but by too much secrecy. And the
discussions that form public policy should be public...Science
isn't poker: it only works when the cards are dealt face up.
Don't go down in history as the Texan who closed the scientific
hope your new Science Advisor comes to the job armed with
knowledge of the rich history of junk science and false predictions
served up to government in the last forty years. [more...]
The resulting memo is practical and unimaginative. It may not
be of much interest to the Edge community, but I think
it would be more useful to the president than a wider-ranging
document. The second memo is the unpractical and imaginative
version. It is not very imaginative, because I still want it
to be taken seriously as an agenda for the twenty-first century.
are many excellent researchers who would make rapid progress
in malarial "post-genomics" if substantial new money
became available. It would therefore be widely recognised
as a wonderfully enlightened action if you were to ensure
that the National Institutes of Health introduced a malaria
post-genomics programme, with a new budget of at least $300m,
as a first step towards the prevention and cure of this devastating
like business, has been totally captured by the next quarter
mentality, and it will require a deliberate effort to stress
the long view so that our knowledge matches our predicament.
B. Brilliant, M.D.
fear of smallpox as a weapon of mass destruction in the hands
of terrorists is based either on the public information, which
is speculative and anecdotal, or on military or secret intelligence
sources which are unavailable. [more...]
The point is, Mr. President, that a National Bureau for the
Support of Science, with Cabinet status, is getting to be
a necessity. [more...]
Many commentators are urging George Bush Jr. to finish in
Iraq what President George Bush Sr. began in the Gulf War.
Mr. President, I urge you to apply this advise in space. Take
up the challenge. Go to Mars! [more...]
scientific and cultural heritage is abundant, and the threats
to it are numerous—it is time to back up civilization.
To do this we will need to establish secure sanctuaries (think
of the monasteries of the Middle Ages) that preserve and update
copies of the vital records and articles needed for the conduct
of our society. [more...]
are in an amazing position. You are the most powerful president
in a generation. Be bold! Science and technology are the most
potent tools mankind has for improving our circumstances.
Let's use this amazing moment in history to create a new period
of happiness and prosperity. Please don't let your marvelous
position in history go to waste. [more...]
...science is patriotic.
Good old American know-how is the foundation that has made
this a great country. It is no coincidence that so many of
the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin, had a lifelong passion for science. Science is the
engine that has fueled our prosperity.
has become bound with wealth and power into a positive feedback
loop from which it cannot escape: its perceived role in the
present age is to provide high technologies of the kind that
generate capital which in turn supports more science, of the
kind that will provide high technologies to generate more
capital and so on and so on.
My idea is that the whole "Homeland Defense" thing
is too cost-ineffective to be plausible. [more...]
Whats missing is that science (and engineering)
is no longer a fundamental priority of the national agendathe
way it was when Sputnik galvanized us into action in the aftermath
of World War II. [more...]
William H. Calvin
But only a dozen years ago, no one knew much about
abrupt climate change, those past occasions when the whole
world flipped out of a warm-and-wet mode like today into the
alternate mode, which is cool, dry, windy, dusty. [more...]
What the president ought
to do is obvious: focus the nation's mind on a big, real and
exciting problem. Ideally we ought to have a competitor to
keep us playing our best game—but if the problem is
interesting enough, maybe the competitor doesn't matter.
is a compelling human story. From genetics, to cognitive
science, to physics we can patch together a view of the
world, our place in it, our power and powerlessness. We
can describe the mad animals we are in the middle of a range
of phenomenon from the microscopic to the mind tauntingly
You went to Andover, Yale and Harvard, respected educational
institutions where educational values are debated up front,
where you were not a guinea pig in randomized trials, and
where you had some of the most gifted teachers in the world.
Your children, our children, deserve the same respect. [more...]
It takes a bomb in the office of some academics to make them
realize that their most basic values are now threatened, and
some of my good friends and colleagues on the Edge seem
to have forgotten 9/11. [more...]
results for innovations in minority education have been obtained
at every level from early elementary school through college.
Unfortunately, it is frequently assumed, even by educators,
that such results are possible only for charismatic individuals
and that they cannot be duplicated by normal people in normal
school systems. [more...]
One promising example of such legislation would be a program
of parental licensure requiring persons, wishing to birth and
rear a baby, to demonstrate at least what we should minimally
require of persons wishing to adopt someone else's baby. [more...]
beings have thrived because, more than any other creature,
we are naturally driven to learn about the world around us.
Our greatest scientists and most creative companies regularly
borrow the best practices of mothers and preschool teachers.
Give all our scientists, old and young, lunch, the right toys,
a safe place to play, interesting problems to solve, and someone
to talk to, and watch them fly.
To understand the nature of foreign markets, we must understand
the psychology of foreign cultures. This entails a search for
human universals and how these constrain cultural variation.
To illustrate, consider the problem of cooperation, and in particular,
how people judge fairness and respond to unfair play. [more...]
The first and most important issue at the edge is the biology
underlying conscious experience, particularly the biology of
self-awareness: How do you study it? Where is it located in
the brain? How does it develop over time? [more...]
Advanced nanotechnologies, based on molecular manufacturing,
will enable the production of computer systems a billion times
more powerful than today's, aerospace vehicles with 98% less
structural mass, and medical tools enabling molecular repair
of cells, tissues, and organs. These and related technologies
will be economically and strategically decisive. [more...]
The most critical science policy decisions that face you can
all be reduced to a three words: education, education, education.
Science is a way of thinking that recognizes the need to test
hypotheses so that the process is not reduced to mere opinion
mongering, that the findings of such tests are provisional and
probabilistic, and that natural explanations are always sought
for natural phenomena. [more...]
My proposal: surface the hidden links between what we buy and
the consequential impacts of those products. Then let consumers
make choices based on this new informationin a sense,"voting"
every time we purchase goodsand let the power of the free
market, rather than government policy alone, become a force
for improvement. [more...]
Richard Saul Wurman
The making of scientific
information understandable means presenting, designing &
structuring this information so that it is accessible, available
and actionable. Constructive science is based upon accessibility,
understandability, an informed constituency and finally action.
As your new scientific advisor, I would like to draw your attention
to an important and perhaps surprising fact. The citizens of
your country are not just flesh and blood. They are, increasingly,
flesh, blood, and machine. Let me explain why, and then why
I recommend that you create a new governmental body, The National
Institute for the Scientific Study of Peace, to address by far
the most pressing issue of our time: the persistence of war
as a means of resolving disputes between nations.
I'll bet you didn't take a single science course at Yale. Who
could blame you? I was a member of the Yale faculty for many
years. The science professors are preparing future scientists
not future Presidents. The nation suffers as a result.
The new National Institute for Humanism would be a mechanism
to formally foster and encourage collaborations across the arts,
humanities, and sciences, create synergy and cross-fertilization
of ideas, uniting thinkers from different viewpoints and disciplines
in tackling important questions about who and what we are.
is essential to realize that behind the many pressing scientific
issues facing our Nation today, one stands out far among the
rest: The persistent decline for several years in the past,
and into the foreseeable future, of the very health of the
scientific/technological workforce of America. [more...]
you should look for a science advisor in some other field
... um, botany? No, too controversial. Dermatology?
Accelerating the rate of CO2 increase
in the atmosphere by profligate use of Iraq's vast oil supplies,
together with the continuing deforestation of the Amazon,
will not only turn the Amazon basin into a parched desert
but plunge the entire mid-West into prolonged drought, resulting
in famine in your own land. History would then judge you as
an apocalyptic Burning Bush, bringing the scourge of parching
fire to your country and its people.
best way to deal with this particular problem [deep level
of ignorance of science], which impedes the solution of most
other scientific problems, is to provide an annual bonus on
top of their salary to new science teachers of $100,000 a
year, and put applicants through a rigorous selection process
based on a combination of knowledge, skill and passion for
the subject, combined with superb pupil handling ability.
are entering an era of scientific change that is rocking no
less than human nature itself. This directed evolution is
unprecedented. It is convulsing everything from the affairs
of state, to defense, to commerce, to labor, to education,
to health, to welfare, to the economy. It is not science fiction.
It has begun to occur and is accelerating this decade. You
need an advisor who can help you try to ride this curve of
President, it is the United States of America who long ago
brought the evil of prohibition upon the world, and still
holds the power to prevent the rest of us from seeking freedom
from prohibition. Mr President, you could win the war on terrorism,
not by fighting, but by refusing to fight the war on drugs.
A key aspect of this program is the prize: $100,000 to each
high school senior and $1,000,000 to the college counterparts.
The total annual cost of the program (including administration)
would be less than $250 million, while its impact would be
dramatic and long lasting. With serious prize money on the
line science would no longer be just for the "weird" kids.
Indeed, doing science would be seen as cool.
all three points together, my advice is to stimulate optimism
by making a bold move turning America's focus from its negative
role in war brinkmanship to a positive role as a leader who
stands for peace, freedom and economic growth.
The moral: It is perfectly normal to fear purposeful violence
from those who hate us. When Saddam commits more evil, or
when terrorists strike again (likely where unexpected), we
will all recoil in horror. But smart thinkers will also want
to check their intuitive fears against the facts.
Scientists are natural ambassadors...It is only scientists
who bring people and nations together. Independent of history,
religious faith, economic status, gender or color of skin,
scientists work together and have worked together to pursue
a common goal, i.e. a deeper understanding of nature and culture.
The views of the scientific community could be especially
relevant today. Many pressing issues that will shape the lives
of Americans and the world in the coming years will be best
addressed by leaders who recognize that science, science education,
scientific expertise, and international science cooperation
are crucial to formulating the best policy. [more...]
I have yet to see an area where science has informed any of
this present administration's policies. Despite much hand
waving about "sound science" I have no confidence
that a science advisor would have any useful impact whatsoever. [more...]
Science is pointing towards an LSD-like world without LSD
intake. And we are wholly unprepared for both. Math, Physics,
Chemistry, Biology and Psychology—the things we are
made of—are inextricably intertwined. People though,
remain interactiveless and disentangled.
the modern world, science, democracy and prosperity go hand
in hand, and it is no coincidence that throughout history
those nations that led the development of democracy also led
their times in scientific advancement.
Without the Infinite, mathematics as we know it, would
simply not exist. But where does the Infinite come from? How
do we grasp the Infinite if, after all, our biology is finite,
and so are our experiences and everything we encounter with
our bodies? [more...]
have recently suggested that what early humans were up to
was very different to what we hitherto thought, and that
the birth of religion and the emergence of social cohesion
was rooted in atavistic practices of human sacrifice and
We are benefitted by the significant investments into
nano/bio technologies being funded through NIH, NSF, DARPA/DOD.
An increase, modest on the scale of the overall budget, with
a research mandate encouraging exploring these new areas of
potential discovery, can yield enormous benefits in developing
diagnostics, and as a result of that, therapeutics, to tackle
the many diseases afflicting humanity, and the current enormous
cost of treating these diseases.
you remarked that the nation owes me (i.e. its scientists)
a great debt, I could not refrain from asking, "Sir, could
you possibly estimate approximately how much that would be?"
the crowd broke up and I missed my chance.
there is a more focused and more urgent crisis of scientific
literacy: There is widespread statistical illiteracy among
scientists themselves. The signature of this illiteracy is
not being able to tell a number from a curve. [more...]
times where the most important issues facing your administration,
and indeed the nation, are science-centricfrom the search
for biological weapons in Iraq to human cloning, from global
warming to smallpox vaccinationsthe voice of the President's
chief science advisor must be more pronounced; the public
needs to see and hear a stronger scientific presence in the
West Wing. [more...]
World Science Collaboration committed to providing no-strings-attached
scientific resources to other countries would change how the
United States is viewed by the world community.
bold new initiative is needed to train a new generation of
computational biologists who are equally at home in wet bench
science and the world of computational science. [more...]
regard more and more problems of individual behavior as biologically
determined, but we are increasingly ready to treat them biochemically,
and looking forward to treating them genetically. Our fatalism
about the individual capacity to learn and heal is matched
only by our technological hubris. [more...]
many people think cloning cells for the fight against disease
is the same thing as creating Frankenstein's monster. Too
many people think evolution is the idea that people are descended
from apes. And too many people think that genetic modification
of plants is a dangerous new idea, instead of something that's
been going on for ten thousand years...The problem is that,
although we're all entitled to our beliefs, our culture increasingly
holds that science is just another belief. Maybe this is because
it's easier to believe something—anything—than
not to know. [more...]
science advisor is really a social advisor, providing an expert's
view on how the state can best assist in and benefit from
the advancement of science. [more...]
push a science agenda, we would have to promote the underlying
premise of science: that none of the systems we use to understand
this reality are pre-existing or true. They were simply the
most useful at a particular moment—very often to a particular
group. When they stop being useful, we must be prepared to
the single greatest mystery facing science today arises, remarkably,
each time we see the red of an apple, hear the blast of a
trumpet, smell the fragrance of a rose, or reel with anger
from an insult. The mystery is this: What is the relationship
between our everyday conscious experiences and our brains?
is the only way we have of truly understanding how our increasingly
complex world works. The scientific view is the long viewit
is not short term thinking; it seeks the big picture. The
choice is clear: a future of ignorance, or a far better future
friend Tony Blair recently gave a speech where he declared,
"We're at a crossroads. We could choose a path of timidity
in the face of the unknown. Or we could choose to be a nation
at ease with radical knowledge, not fearful of the future,
a culture that values a pragmatic, evidence-based approach
to new opportunities." Prime Minister Blair believes the second
path is the clear choice. It's time you demonstrated the same
there is one aspect of my work that does have deadly consequences,
more precisely, will have deadly consequences if it is ignored.
Here is where heaven and earth meet: in the possibility, and
in the long run the certainty, that people will die through
the effects of an impact of an asteroid, large or small. [more...]
the findings of anthropologists indicate that we should be
tolerant of cultural variation, taking anthropology seriously
as a science also indicates that we should not mistake exotic
beliefs for science. The fact that people have diverse systems
of belief does not give them all equal claims on truth.
a sense of the past, there is a danger of raising a generation
of change-junkies, weaned on the rush of accelerating technologies,
for whom history has no relevance. They would recognise technological
change only through its material culturethe stuffbrought
to them on the street and in a welter of media hits. In their
world where nothing stands still, they are left with no space
to evaluate why technological change happens and, crucially,
are endangered from the outside by our avowed enemies. We
are threatened from within by killers among us. An urgent
need for the nation to establish a deep scientific understanding
of psychological circuits dedicated to murder and the causal
processes that create, activate, and deactivate those circuits.
recognized pathogens develop multi-drug resistance, and as
new pathogens are recognized, our tools for recognizing and
treating these agents must keep up. At one time it was thought
that infectious diseases had been practically vanquished.
We must work hard to keep up. [more...]
My proposal is that 99 per cent of the research funds continue
to be allocated in the usual way. But I suggest that 1 per
cent is spent in a way that reflects the curiosity of lay
people, who pay for all publicly funded research through taxes.
It would be necessary to create a separate funding body. One
possible name would be the National Discovery Center.
science advisor would also need to be a political analyst,
whose first hurdle would be overcoming West Wing Withdrawal.
For all Martin Sheen's ability to multi-task, in reality,
key problems are often pushed to the back burner, and
domestic policy is naturally suffering by the current
need to put out so many fires in foreign policy.
dots consist of trapped electrons with no nucleus. Once
confined, the electrons repel one another and form orbitals
reminiscent of orbitals we find in actual atoms. Novel
substances made from quantum dots will be able to change
their properties as easy as a traffic light changes from
red to green, and their properties can be adjusted in
real-time through the application of light, electricity,
and so forth.
is needed now to get scientific research back on a fast
and efficient track again can be termed "lean science".
Lean science is slender, quick, efficient and inexpensive.
It has the potential of leading to numerous unexpected
insights and discoveries. [more...]
of our biological constitution make it increasingly clear
that we are social creatures of meaning, who crave a sense
of coherence and purpose. Yet, our modern way of life
seems to provide fewer and fewer opportunities to engage
in the group life that satisfies these human needs—indeed,
many of its structures and institutions stunts these very
short, most of the current effort being put into increasing
airline safety is a waste of valuable resources. In a
world where fanatical individuals are willing to give
their own lives to achieve their goals, we can never be
100% safe. What we should do, is direct our resources
in the most efficient manner possible.
here's my warning; it may be unnecessary. The scientific
community, worldwide as well as in America, is like other
communities and given to fads and taboos. These taboos
have prevented some subjects from being researched or
even discussed. These subjects include the genetics of
behavior and intelligence.
In the 20th century, we led the way—our
discovery of transistors led to everything from radios
and televisions to cell phones and PocketPCs. But the
leading technologies in the 21st century—cures for
cancer, heart disease, and mental illness—will all
be biological, and without research on stem cells, we
will be left behind. [more...]
games compel kids to spend dozens of hours a week exploring
virtual worlds and learning their rules. Barring a massive
overhaul of our school system, Nintendo and PlayStation
will continue to be the most successful at captivating
Reucroft and John Swain
Science is the nemesis of
ignorance, and ignorance is our single biggest enemy.
Ignorance has been attacking us for ages and it is so
ever present that we often forget that it's there. Broad-based
support for science, and the public awareness and appreciation
of it, are essential if we are to have a future. There
is no single overwhelmingly pressing sub field or sub-issue.
We need it all, we need it now, and we need everyone to
understand it as deeply as possible.