PUBPOL481_12apr2011 - Science and the Nations Future...

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Science and the Nation’s Future PUBPOL481/PHYS481 Lecture April 12, 2011 Homer A. Neal
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Lecture goals A look backward – how good a job could great -grandma have done in predicting life today? Can we imagine the future of science in the U.S. – will it be nurtured or killed? What are the present and real dangers? What are the opportunities? Science and Politics Science and Religion
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A View from 150 years ago No airplanes No x-rays No internet No radio No TV No IPOD No zippers …no,no,no,
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A Truly Gloomy View About the Future (which we must not let happen) The public begins to assume that science and religion are incompatible Scientists pay too little attention to the importance of ethics and scientific integrity and begin to lose public confidence Scientific advances slow, the quality of the science workforce declines, the world economic situation deteriorates ….. And the public starts to ask … “Why Should We Support these bozos”
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A Rosier View The nation has a growing appreciation of the value of science and technology and provides increased support More bright young people enter related fields Major breakthroughs occur in instrumentation allowing deeper probes into unknown areas More diseases are cured, food and energy become more abundant, less tendency for nation’s to fight over resources, ….. Humans have more time to enjoy life ….. which will it be?
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Some Factors that May Determine the Outcome
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Science and Religion Science is based on testing of hypotheses Religion is based on faith Can the two co-exist? What are the arenas where conflicts can manifest themselves?
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