The Scientific Community

In one of the most important scenes of the original Godzilla movie, the old Professor character, a moral force throughout the film, becomes clearly upset about Godzilla’s egg being sold to a corporation. Misunderstanding the older man’s sadness, a cadet reporter asks the token girl character what the problem is. With all the forlorn sympathy in the world, the girl responds, “Oh, can’t you see? The Professor is a Scientist.” Her pithy statement completely elucidates to us, the viewership, that the ethical quandary faced by the Professor is deeply informed by his schooling in the objective and humanity-progessing discipline of Science. This is because Godzilla takes place in the 1960′s, when these things still meant something.

Ever since queen and king times, human beings have been using taxonomy to enact their distance from and fear of the natural world into a discipline that we like to call “Science.” I know the whole deal with “Science:” the Altruistic Pursuit of Knowledge, the Betterment of Dudekind, New Frontiers, Great Advances in Health. These things were definitely the case when we were still trying to figure out what shape our planet is, as well as in Isaac Newton-times — they may even have been the case up until the early 1960′s, in which people still believed that the moon came from a giant lava tide ripped from planet Earth.*

In modern times, however, something has gone awry. It seems that every news article I read in the Science section aims to outperform the last in terms of complete bullshit weirdness. A year or so ago, a friend of mine forwarded me an article about how Scientists had managed to get monkeys to send “telepathic” messages — that is to say, had managed to transmit electromagnetic impulses from their brains — over the internet, and into robotically reconstructed fake monkey hands across the country. This kind of news represents the confidence that Scientists have in the fact that we — the laypeople — have ceased to pay attention to their work. They’re getting a kick out of the fact that once what they’re doing bobs up in major newspapers, we are so complacent and out of touch that it completely freaks us out.

As much as I am in favor of tomfoolery in the Scientific community — if I had an insane budget and fancy equipment, I’d be working towards simian telepathy, too — it is our duty as enthusiasts of popular Science to remain vigilant. In the past, to be a scientist meant great moral and civic responsibility; now, however, this responsibility has befallen us. I present to you, friends, Universe, a blog for the Betterment of Dudekind.

*This is true.

Comments

  1. #1 Rad Dude 818
    December 14, 2005

    Claire, congratulations on your new weblog! And to base it on the beautiful ordering principles of SCIENCE, no less. Fine indeed.

  2. #2 james
    December 14, 2005

    nice… an exciting new blog.

  3. #3 love_forever
    December 14, 2005

    Yikes! I’ve been CSS/HTMLing the home blog for the past 2 hours, then I come over here… Woah this design is monstrous! What’s a “micro-blog”!!?? Woah…! Exciting new blogs…

  4. #4 Mikey
    December 14, 2005

    Welcome to UrHo Claire! I’m super excited about this new blog, and I’ll be forwarding you a ton of articles you’ve probably already read. :)

  5. #5 sarah
    December 14, 2005

    this is really, really exciting. SCIENCE= bring it!

  6. #6 Jona
    December 14, 2005

    YAY! Universe!

    The “micro blog” is going to be a super-updated part of this blog where links to science-y stuff will be updated daily. I want to figure out a way that everyone can contribute that’s better than email..

    YAY! Claire!

  7. #7 rita
    December 14, 2005

    is this like the blog pep talk before claire takes a physical earth exam. sorry, i just coughed up apple juice all over my compooter.

  8. #8 Colin
    December 14, 2005

    This is a very interesting perspective on the fringe of science from someone on the fringe of art. I can highly recommend CP Snow’s essay “The Two Cultures” as a counterpoint to your views. CP Snow was a physicist and author who argued that scientists need to reach out beyond their technical viewpoints and accommodate aspects of the humanities in order to understand the world’s problems and address their solutions. Maybe, if we approach the same problem from opposite ends, we close in on a rational central truth.

  9. #9 daevid
    December 15, 2005

    but… the moon is almost a “lava” tide coming from the earth! science is dream is real!