Science columns appreciated

Friday , July 20, 2018 - 12:00 AM

I would like to thank the Standard Examiner and the editorial staff for instituting a regular column dealing with topics pertaining to science and the public. I have waited hopefully for this for a long time, and I regard it as something we have needed for a long time. Further, as John Armstrong has become available, you could find no one better qualified to undertake this column. I hope it will move forward on a regular basis.

We need this for several reasons. First and up front, we need to know how taxpayer dollars are being spent on scientific endeavor, and toward what purposes. This is the most practical reason.

Second, we need a glimpse into the occasional beauty and majesty of scientific discovery. From the smallest mysteries of the quantum world to the greatest vistas of the galactic universe, there is much to inspire awe. John, and writers of his talent, can bring this to us. The stories that are being told can bring us to a greater understanding of our origins and the vast scope of the universe that is our home.

Third, we need to understand that open-ended research is not fruitless. Much of what we do is blind to the eventual outcome. But it is a rare line of research that, when pursued, does not finally lead to a payoff, and often to an unexpected and surprisingly useful payoff. Examples are abundant in the development of modern hand-held devices using quantum technology. There are space program spinoffs from developments in zero gravity, high radiation environments and airless environments. And so on and on.

So thank you, and please continue this fine work. Much of your readership probably feels as I do, and more will eventually be won over as the story unfolds.

Charles Lear


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