Thursday, June 14, 2012
Why I find this necessary
This is a defining time. The tech world is expanding as our devices shrink into black boxes of confusion that "just work." At the same time the national budget crisis is intense, and since science seems so disconnected from the lives of most people, many believe that it is a field in which we can afford to cut funding. But it is not.
There are two major drives to getting the word out on how our every day items work and how that stems from the scientific discoveries of the past.
First and foremost, for the future of technology to stay here in the United States, we need to understand and teach the next generation what goes into everyday devices. They are curious, but it seems quite hard. This is not like when Feynmann was a boy and there were only 3 circuit elements in a radio. This is a dangerous time, where things seem confusing enough that we might have no reason to learn them at all. But learning the fundamentals of how things work enables us to innovate and make connections. The American advantage comes from this ability to innovate, and to keep that ability here for another generation, we need to spread the word that science is digestible, understandable, natural and interesting.
Secondly, there is this whole money issue. Maybe if we show people how the things that they love connect back to past investments in fundamental science, everyone will agree that funding science is the only way for our country and our world to progress.