Monday, December 10, 2007

Calling for a science debate

Since about 1900 science and its significant other, technology have become the dominant influence on the life and death of those living on this sphere, and often to the joy of their families on the births and especially survival of newborns. Dad Rabett's father, Eli's grandfather, was born in 1884 before flush toilets, about 20 years after Maxwell first stated his unification of electricity and magnetism, but in the same year that Heaviside and Gibbs reformulated it into modern vectorial form and three years before Hertz demonstrated the reality of electromagnetic waves (radio). Atoms were postulated, but their structure unknown. All four of Eli's grandparents were born before just about any technology used today, and their lives were significantly extended by the creation of modern medicine, but even more so by such technological commonplaces as water treatment. His mom has made it into the Internet age. Awareness and some understanding of science and engineering is necessary for policy makers although many behave as if this were not the case.

Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum at Intersection have organized a petition asking the candidates for the US Presidency to debate about science issues (and Eli would explicitly add technology). Please get behind this. Please get involved by registering at the petition site. The casual acceptance of scientific ignorance by policy makers is a serious danger to the survival of you and the ones you love.


Magnus said...

As much as I like the white coated vikingkitten I’ve learned to not underestimate the spot coated southlings
. After all a rainy day in Soho seams like hell compared to the fluffy white snowflakes I’m currently fighting. However I think the northenvikingkittens bolt throwing skill is an advantage over the older and wiser Rabbet smartness
... well they say that it is bolt throwing that gets the chicks this days, they simply don’t give much for bunny humping
any more.

Oh, and yes I’m not supposed to spread this but I can’t help it... My English is some what rubbish but I can’t get rid of the feeling that the Swedish government made fools of themselves in Bali, read this. More then one debate will be necessary!

guthrie said...

Talking about science and Technology, almost 80 years ago the USA had a president who was so well educated and literate in science and technology that he translated "De Re Metallica" from Latin. This book was written by Georgius Agricola and printed in 1556. It is the first proper instruction/ textbook on mining and metallurgy to be printed in Europe.

Compare this to today...

Dano said...

Guthrie's traitorous rantings about Dear Leader's abilities are belied by his obvious...uh...clearly...his...erm...uh...his...his...

Man, I couldn't even fake it for 5 seconds. Sheesh.



Anonymous said...

Reminds me of that comment from an early 20th century governor of Texas, about teaching languages in school: "If English was good enough for Jesus-Christ, it's good enough for me."


Rod Adams said...

Professor Rabbet:

I agree that technical literacy should be a selection criteria for leadership positions in our modern society, including the presidency,

On a separate topic, I would very much like to talk to you about nitriding and embrittlement of metals exposed to nitrogen gas at about 800-1000 C.

You can contact me at rod.adams(at)