Here I am after a long absence from this blog. As promised a long time ago, I will now start a new chapter of this adventure, which I had to pause for a while (lots happened in what-I-call “life off the internet”, a new job, a one week trip to Manchester and more – but I am not going to bother you with this matter). I will (hopefully not) annoy you with other kinds of subjects, all related to the majestic world of Science (yes, the one with a capital “s”). I am not going to drown you in a sea made of difficult academic terms for now; what I want to create with you has to start with an introduction that I suggest everyone should read.
Knowledge is the most powerful weapon anyone can have. If you are not sure about it, let’s think about every single dictatorship that has been set up throughout our history. Mussolini? Decided to abolish the usual way of studying, to modify what was being taught in school creating a deep fracture that didn’t allow the new generations to form a real knowledge of the world. Hitler? Did the same, filling schools with his ideals, convincing people without a proper education to follow him as the leader that was going to save them all, as well as burning books (which is not what The Doctor taught us about books, right?). These are just two examples of what can happen if we do not think about the importance of education or of knowing what is really going on around us. With knowledge you can try to divide “good” from “bad”, you can fight for your rights, you can simply do whatever you like with it.
Carl Segan said that “we live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology”. To my opinion, this quote has a few meanings: the main one could be that we follow what people tell us. For example we accept that the Earth is round instead of flat or that it is us running in a circle around the Sun simply because “a person said that to me”, not because we know it. The questions to ask are “why does it do that? Why is it round?” and so on. We should not simply agree on what others are telling us, we should be eager to understand it, to actually listen to the explanation given. It is the explanation that gives us the ability to really understand something. Why did Hitler do that? How did he do that? What happened? Those questions will allow us to not make the same mistakes again, because we will know the right answers. Because we will have acknowledged the past.
I am not saying that we should not follow what doctors, scientists, politicians and so on tell us or that everyone should perfectly know everything in detail. Doctors, scientists and etcetera have studied all their lives to be able to tell us most of the things we hear, let’s not forget that. The meaning of this is that we need to understand “things” in order to judge whether following those people is good or bad for our lives. Knowledge makes us powerful, knowledge makes us aware of what is going on in this little world that we call home.
So, let’s fall in love with Science. Let’s understand it together. If we lose, well, we’ll have at least tried.