Why Science

I love science. I never though I would say that when I was 15 yrs old sitting bored in the classroom doing the bare minimum to scrape through.

Now, I often wish I had followed up scientific endeavour. However, at previous times I have also wished I had done English or computer science and also I don’t know if I wold enjoy doing the tricky boring bits rather than just reading about the theoretical frameworks and applications. But I was a massive sci-fi junkie when I was younger so I guess once the real world caught up with me it was a natural progression.

But for the last four or five years this fascination has crept over me. I particularly enjoy particle physics and space. It thrills me to think that we are picking apart the fabric of the universe. Trying to answer the biggest questions by of existence by looking at the smallest things, things that are so small you can fit a trillion of them into a centimetre. We are creating telescopes that can explore the universe, find new suns, planets with the potential for life and crazy celestial bodies like pulsars or black holes that have the mass billion times the mass of our sun. But my interest in science is wide ranging and does not stop there.

I was recently reading an article about psychology and how the physics side of it and the human experience side of it both need to be looked at to try and explain consciousness. Other readings have led to my understanding that our human experience of things does not get it wrong, but it cannot see what is really happening. Our brains cannot visualise space time, as we live in a 3D world.

This is a great quote that says what I like about science better than I can myself:

“A pioneering generation of stars had to die in spectacular supernovae to seed space with the heavier elements needed for the rise of self-replicating bags of chemicals, on a rocky planet orbiting a young star at just the right distance. The competitive pressures of natural selection made possible the accession of creatures with nervous systems. As the complexity of these systems grew to staggering proportions, some of the creatures evolved the ability to reflect on themselves, to contemplate their beautiful but cruel world.”

Christof Koch, ‘We’re closing in on consciousness in the brain’ in New Scientist (04/2012).

Basically, everyone should have a subscription to New Scientist – its breadth of topics is inspiring each week. It is a window on the future.

Come to think of it, I was mentioned in there once- I entered a competition to predict what the big invention of the next 30 years would be. The winner was some boring (but I obviously understand: useful) invention like the cure for cancer. I was mentioned in the also fans for predicting we would invent miniaturised power sources that would enable highly manoeuvrable personalised transport, similar to wasp wings. They laughed at me but it was cool to get a shout out.

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