tribute to Science 2017, shifting, shearing, maybe a crossroads

hi all. science is in the news. it looks like the US public has realized fairly quickly that this is nearly an anti-science admin through the administrations rhetoric and many early anti-science decisions.[a] the public “protests/ marches” for science are unprecedented (triggering this post/ “outburst”).[b] but one might argue they are not entirely protests but in fact an advocacy. there is strong overlap with climate concern.[i]

my favorite area/ subspeciality is Computer Science a very neat blend of STEM.[d] years (decades!) ago an interviewer asked me “whats the difference between science and technology”? that was before the STEM term was invented. found it difficult to answer the question.[j] but my focus is not so narrow and recognize that CS is part of Science and there are all kinds of ripples/ shifts/ waves going on in the latter. and ofc have a lot of physics ideas/ engagement/ writing on this blog.

science & technology are fusing in our lives like never before. the boundaries blur and some new capabilities may seem nearly god-like compared to the prior human condition. but there is also always the icarus aspect of flying close to the sun with waxed feathers. or pandoras box. the greeks seemed to dream uncannily far into the future in their legends/ mythology.

science is an ideology, but one that is threatened in various ways. its like those big ideas like Democracy that require active engagement by the public and is no longer something to be assumed or taken for granted.

science has given us miraculous stuff in the US and the US has been a world leader, but it seems some of that edge is eroding. its not something that comes automatically, it requires something like a vibrant/ thriving infrastructure, even ecosystem, and that cultural/ intellectual ecosystem is threatened quite analogous to the earths. academia is a big part of it, facing some difficulties.[f]

there are huge issues/ questions of trust/ bias in science.[c] the discussion/ analysis of its culture/ criticism is prominent lately.[e]

there are some hopeful glimmers that science may have some answers to the Big Questions and clean energy sources are one of the biggest challenges of our time.[g] advances in medical are also quite impressive/ hopeful/ some nearly sci-fi.[h] scientists are gaining new understanding/ control over biology also.[k]

a. trump
b. protest/ march
c. trust/ bias
d. stem/ edu
e. culture/ criticism
f. academia
g. energy2
h. medical
i. climate
j. tech
k. biology
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