Today: I’m a Grown Up Scientist

14 Sep

CMB Anisotropy measured by BOOMERanG

Image via Wikipedia

Pallab Ghosh, the BBC‘s science correspondant has written an article about how the science community should have a better dialogue with the general public.

I’m sorry, but did i miss something? Generally something scientific isn’t reported on unless it has an impact on commerce, ease of living or if it’s to do with cloning.

So when anything is reported on, the public see it as a big leap, thinking it is totally over their heads and just came out of thin air. In reality, the ideas and inventions that come into the public domain have been developed and worked on for years, sometimes decades previous to any form of public release.

The unfortunate thing is, if you don’t stay even slightly tuned in to what’s going on in the scientific community, you will have a hard time understanding what is going on. Then when it comes to explaining things, scientists at any level sound like arrogant know-it-alls, I tried explaining what a spectrometer was to my mum, as it’s my project for my final year at university but no matter how i tried to word the explanation, i felt i was talking down to her. Which made me feel horrendous as she has 2 degrees – though not in a scientific field.

It also arises in the article that the public only see science as being justifyable if it has a commercial outlet. This is a sad fact of the modern age where people take advantage of things they are being taught, things that are being done, and things that have made their lives easier.

The CCD for example, an accidental discovery which won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009. Is now used every day in digital imaging software. Photographers who never did any science past GCSE? Yeah, you have them to thank for that.

Accidental discoveries and ground breaking theories can only come about with appropriate funding, and the freedom to pursue what could been seen to be commercially “relevant”.

The 2 new satellites Herschel and Planck which are surveying the cold dust of space (Herschel) and investigating the Cosmic Microwave background (Planck) could one day lead to discoveries and inventions not even conceived yet, which could be conceived by the youing scientists who will miss out on furthering their education through post graduate oppotunities, because the public do not understand it’s relevance, and hence can’t see it’s funding potential.

So in this new age of science cuts and finalcially restricted research subjects, who knows what discovery could be over-looked? Curing cancer,  create infinite energy, discover more efficient space travel…. Or even just help us take better pictures.

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3 Responses to “Today: I’m a Grown Up Scientist”

  1. Jerome 07/08/2014 at 23:26 #

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Today: I’m a Grown Up Scientist « I Did That -- Topsy.com - 14/09/2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Haley Gomez, Harriet Parfitt. Harriet Parfitt said: Today: I'm a Grown Up Scientist: http://t.co/GdQ4T1N #science #university […]

  2. Today: #scienceisvital « I Did That - 04/10/2010

    […] posted a blog a few weeks ago (Today: I’m a Grown up Scientist) hopefully it illustrated my dissapointment in the government for not seeing how cruicial science […]

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