Science and the Public

I’m not a scientist by learning, or particularly by disposition. However, I believe in evolution, that smoking cigarettes is harmful to health and that global warming is caused by man and is a real and genuine danger to human life in the future if not adequately addressed. The reason I believe those things is because I’ve had access to the work of scientists freely available in the public domain in a free society, read or watched a reasonable amount and then made up my own mind.

There’s a fascinating question that is a very live issue right now. That is the extent to which scientists should become public advocates for a particular perspective. This has become a hot topic as the new American government seeks to gag and sideline scientists who speak out about global warming and climate change.

The viewpoints of the opposing sides, and probably the most appropriate way forward are set out very articulately in this podcast:

ABC Radio – The Science Show – Can a Scientist be a Sentinel?

This is valuable material to share with science students who may never have really have reflected very deeply on the ambiguity, at times, of scientific facts, dogma and the ways in which science gets co-opted to put forward particular views and perspectives by those with an agenda.

Amazing Potential in Solar Power

I’m always interested to follow the latest things happening that have the potential to stem the devastating impact of climate change and environmental destruction – our legacy to the next generations that will follow us.

So, I was excited to see this short video, though couldn’t help wondering why there hasn’t been more publicity about this;

Solar Roadways – Film

Could it be that some of the cynics posting in the comments sections at the bottom of that page are right – i.e. could this have too much potential to be acceptable to the big industries that rely on fossil fuels for their livelihood? Would they have the will and the power to kill such an idea?

This is one worth tracking over coming months to see what happens. I’m sure many students would be interested to study this idea, to know more about the science behind it and to be part of the creative ideation process as its potential is explored.

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