Today I want to write a bit about my inner hope for the upcoming event of ‘Science is Change‘ organized from the 11th to the 14th of May in the beautiful Auditorium della Musica of Rome. The theme of this year is change. Very inspiring. Change is a metaphor of power, force, and the symbol of wisdom. Why so? Well, let’s remember what British naturalist and biologist Charles Darwin teaches us: the one who can survive at natural selection is not the strongest animal species or the smartest one, it is the most ready who can face adaptation. The one that is just ready to change and adapt to the renewed environmental – inner and outer, I must say – conditions. That is the being that will live, spreading its own genes by new and adapted off-springs.
The word of change is a key-word. It does not only represent the nature surrounding us, because it describe the inner reality of the society in which we live now. It is able to depict our inner self and emotions: all of us need to face change (in life, work and with best friends) and depending on how we face it we’ll let emerge something new, or even the development of a barrier to protect ourselves from its features. Actually the second is fair more common than the first one. You can agree with that.
At first glance, all the science world is characterized by change: people who deal with it start their days moved by a constant search for answers to mankind problems that need an high level production of discoveries, inventions and innovations so to have the chance to change our lifestyles. It is also true that science plays a key role in helping people cope with change, beginning with the transformations that characterize our cosmopolitan society: first of all climate change and the risks that policy will affect science financing and research because of some collateral “pressures” or priorities. Economy is one of them, even if its profit are connected to scientific progress. Strange liaison, right?
The truth is that Science is a matter of all of us, even if we do not understand firstly what the responsible of its beauty are doing all days, moved and afflicted by inner technophobia that does not let us imagine or desire any expectations. In fact, I invite you to tell me that is not true, lot of us think that research is a sort of partial dawdling, defined mostly by a pleasant attendance in biomedical labs of national foundations, when the results appears to be very little or sporadic in time compared to the huge amount of money invested. And if we are the main investors and we do not understand how these money are used, well all sort pf problems rise.
I am sure that lot of scientific bloggers well-framed what I’m talking about.
It is very simple say that scientists are lucky people that spent their days making simulations or developing new software that maybe will let us have better technologies in a word. A place that we know (daily!) facing brutal changes, both in the societal side than in the environmental one, right? But this seems to be not our priority because science can have a potential or an impact for society but to get all these dynamics of rehearsal, delineation and development of societal identity in relation to science would require efforts, critique sense, long and attentive studies.
So, what do we have to do? Well, due to time reason and worse (we are saying that all the times!) working conditions, the better thing to do is to leave only to this caste of scientists the efforts to understand the mysteries of diseases, space nature, microelectronics, robotics, let them try to create intelligent algorithms, better models for climate change predictions and new cures for cancer. Yes, it really seems to be the best thing to do…
Why? the reason is pretty simple and crystal clear: we have the perception that we cannot (or we would not) understand the domain of science. We are not able to scrutinized it because we cannot evoke the universal laws of physics and symmetry that can allow the wiser view of the role of scientific research for our society. Am I right? In fact, it is also true that scientists cannot work alone, they need a social construction of their scientific authority that allow them continue on these efforts.
They need us, because we are all members of the society that needs to desire progress, we are the referents to whom all these technologies and research aims are directed to.
I hope that this event can allow a sort of reflection to people who will participate, bring their children to science labs organized by enthusiasts educators and ask themselves questions about the different lessons or theater spectacles of ‘Science is Change’.
When people reflect upon their lack of scientific knowledge, something happen: awareness is spreading as a flower during the spring time.
The flower of critique sense and the hard (or majestic) path of knowledge that will allow to redevelop this status of moral and ethical values around science and its enterprise, develop around and for all of us, as unified society. Rich in contrasts, I agree, but is by all sort of diversities that life begin and continue to give us the change to made our own reflections.
Have a great day!