Anyone who knows me knows that I am not one for blind faith or belief in things. I like evidence; proof; things I can see, touch, and figure out. Which is why I love science.
I don’t mean I “love” science the same way a lot of people will say they “love” ice cream, or “love” some celebrity they’ve never met or interacted with. The way I feel about science and technology is, more often than not, the same way I feel about music, or a painting that catches my eye, or an engaging novel. It’s not some disconnected fascination, but something that actually demands my attention. Science causes me to take pause, when I learn something new, to actually process the new information.
The best way I can think of to put this is with an analogy:
Remember the first time you ever heard your favourite song? Your skin tingled, and maybe some hair felt like it was standing up? Your senses felt like something was different, somehow, because of what you were hearing? Some sensation comes over someone when a song strikes a chord with them, or when they see just the right work of art, or read just the right book, at the right time.
Science is like that, to me, ALL. THE. TIME.
The more I’ve learned in physics, the more I’ve realised how incredibly strange and improbable life really is - and how vital it is that we don’t waste it. The things that humanity has managed to learn about the world are absolutely incredible, in every way, yet barely anyone actually seems to know anything about them. And, really, at times, that’s the fault of the scientists.
As much as I enjoy the lectures I have at university, and the material that I learn, it is not presented in a way that is conducive to “popular learning,” so to speak. It tends to be dense, and detail-focused - which is undoubtedly important, but when scientists then try to take that approach to popular education, it fails miserably. I feel like it is far too easy to get bogged down in details, and miss the actual importance of the big picture ideas, when explaining things to people.
I mean, really - how many people in the world remain unaware that every single atom in the universe was once part of a star? That we, as living, breathing beings on a tiny in planet in a microscopic fraction of the universe, are made of star dust? And how could anyone find that ANYTHING but inspiring?
I really don’t get it.
But, my belief in science also leads to other important things I believe. First and foremost of those, is that anyone who has knowledge of science has a responsibility to use that knowledge to make the world a better place - in any way that they are able. Whether that means advancing science further through research, or teaching and inspiring a new generation of scientists, or working in medicine or technology… it’s a responsibility.
Secondly, as a result of the multitude of scientific evidence for global warming, I believe that renewable, sustainable energy methods MUST be found within the nearest future possible. Which is why I intend to pursue a master’s degree - and potentially further - researching in that field, and then to work with NGOs, energy companies, and whoever else necessary to try and develop a pathway for future generations to live in a sustainable world.
I believe that, as a result of our current knowledge, we have a responsibility to future generations to provide them with a world better than the one that we live in (and that they then carry that responsibility for those who follow them). And I don’t think this is an unreasonable belief - in fact, it’s been one of the fundamental drivers of societal advancement since the dawn of civilisation. We have a responsibility to provide our children with a better world, and we have the knowledge to do so.
What’s stopping us?