Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A conversation about science ensued ...

Reading this made me happy: A government watchdog says NASA's press office "marginalized, or mischaracterized" studies on global warming between 2004 and 2006. This was in the news years ago, but it's only now the official reports are being released, confirming that government moles did indeed suppress new global warming data (some say it was initially suppressed because they didn't want it released during the 2004 presidential campaign). Anyway, I'm just glad this information was released. And to one colleague I spoke with today who said, "Who cares? We already know about global warming!" I have the following rebuttal for you:

"It’s striking that science is still widely viewed as merely a subject one studies in the classroom or an isolated body of largely esoteric knowledge that sometimes shows up in the “real” world in the form of technological or medical advances. In reality, science is a language of hope and inspiration, providing discoveries that fire the imagination and instill a sense of connection to our lives and our world."

That's from Brian Greene, a scientist a Columbia University. If he's good enough for Stephen Colbert, he's good enough for you. If you need me to spell out the connection, the point is that science enriches our lives and connects us to the rest of the universe. It has implications for the way we live our lives and, in this case, the way we treat our planet. To suppress new data or information for political or financial purposes is criminal. The fact that NASA exposed and fired the political plants working to countermand their institution's duty to the American public is great news to me.

In other news: I really want to attend this NYHS exhibit on the Cholera Plague of 1832.

2 comments:

john salisbury said...

As a teenager I read Flowering Earth by Donald Culross Peattie, and the lovely way he wrote about Botany impressed upon me just how sublime Nature is, and how the study of Nature ought to be undertaken with reverence and humility . . .
I wish everyone had read it when they were young . . .
http://www.amazon.com/Flowering-Earth-Donald-Culross-Peattie/dp/0253206626

Andrea Janes said...

Thanks for the tip!

Can't wait to read it -- your beautifully-phrased synopsis has me intrigued.