Public. Y U No Love Science? (A Rant)

No one reads science just for the sake of learning. Why? It’s (excuse my language) fucking amazing. It blows my shitting mind every time New Scientist drops onto my mat, learning about dark magnetism, muons, how we evolved speech, how mutations work, what the inside of the LHC looks like, growing medicines from plants, mining comets, bose-einstein condensates, biotech research, sprites, carbon nanotubes, ferrofluids, aerogel, perfluorocarbons and a billion other amazing things that are just ridiculously fascinating.

Why don’t people like this? Why do people find science boring or dull? I can’t think of anything better than discovering something new, learning about a bizarre phenomenon and going “wow, that’s how that works”. Seriously, Google a few of those things up there if you see something you haven’t heard of before, it will rock your world.

 

Knowledge is what we do. Our species crave understanding, we demand answers and when we can’t find them, we build enormous machines to find them because, well because we just want to fucking know what’s going on in this bat shit crazy universe.

Sadly, science still has this air of mystery about it, which is equally frustrating and baffling. Science is about information, it’s about sharing ideas and advancing knowledge, it couldn’t be a more open concept if it tried. If I want to learn about anything, say how bones grow, I would Google it and read any number of articles on how it works, from very, very simple writings, to full in-depth articles explaining the finer details of osteoblasts and lower-functioning osteocytes. Whatever your starting point, fresh out of school, to PhD level, the information is available. So why do so few grab this information by its balls and demand it release it’s knowledge juice? (Bad analogy, scratch that).

The point stands though, when I left school I was left wanting for more. I was bored easily and with a fairly unchallenging job, began reading about evolution. I had a decent understanding about it, from biology lessons and arguing with creationists, but I wanted to dig deeper. A few weeks later I had read hundreds of pages of information on fossilisation, natural selection, sexual selection, DNA, gene mutations, gene sequencing, dinosaurs, human evolution, Charles Darwin’s life, ring species, the Galapagos islands and so much more. I loved it, I couldn’t get enough. I was like a sponge, soaking in the sea of knowledge on the internet.

Sadly, most people still see science as this unknowable, unfathomable mystical thing that will blow your brain out if you even dare to attempt to look at a web page explaining quantum mechanics. That shit has quantum in the title, and who the fuck knows what that even means.

Is it hard? Fuck yes, if it was easy we’d know everything by now. But it isn’t hard to start digging and looking at some articles. Formula 1 is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever drive a car, it’s an entire world away and the beginning is really simple.

As I mentioned earlier, even difficult subjects can be simply explained and understood, there’s just a depressing lack of enthusiasm about science, which is baffling because it is just so awe-inspiring.

Just think about where you are right now. At work, at home, on a train, think about where you are in the universe. How you got here. The processes that are happening right now to you and around you. Reading this article you will have moved millions of miles around a gigantic ball of fusing hydrogen, a little blue spec of rock whipping through space. Meanwhile trillions of neutrinos are passing straight through your body right now, without you even noticing. You are a product of billions of years of evolution, from a tiny single-celled organism, right through to you.

How is that not amazing? How does looking at the night sky, seeing a litter of stars glinting back at you from an incomprehensibly massive universe not make you shit your pants in amazement?

Why isn’t this beautiful, complex natural universe celebrated more? Why does it fail to hold our attention? WHY!?

There are theories in science that explains how 1 particle can be in 2 different locations at the same time. And how a liquid will climb up and out of a beaker on its own. And why time runs slower at different places. And how everything around you is made of empty space. And that there is a planet made entirely of diamond. And that there is something we can’t detect that makes up most of the universe. And that just  looking at a particle can change what it does. And there is a star that is 1,500 times the size of our sun. And that this may be one of an infinite universes, with an infinite number of possibilities, one of which you have the power of Thor, live in a castle on the top of a mountain and your job is to test drive formula one cars in between being personal underwear assistant to Katy Perry, while eating cookies, that rain from the sky, while dinosaurs roam round, shooting lasers from their fucking heads.

Pictured: Science

 

Seriously, how fucking awesome is science!

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  1. I completely agree! My enthusiasm is about biology, and trying to get people excited about the WTF things that you find in nature. Science is fucking awesome, and the more you get to understand it, the more you realise how awesome it is!

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