03
Jan
10

Science makes it into culture

Who among you has heard that “scientific discoveries become public knowledge” or something along those lines. A little quip about how society “is X years behind the scientific field” is often added onto this. Most frequently, the equation E=mc2 is used as an example of something that has finally made this trek. I will concede that many people have heard this formula, but few understand it to any extent. While it does explain nuclear reactions and so forth, it also demonstrates why the energy CONTENT within a massive object directly affects the mass of the object. Warming an object will increase its mass, very slightly, but it will. So we can say that it takes 100 years for scientific discoveries to become “public knowledge” if this is to be a decent example. If this is the case, why do so many people hold onto the idea of vitalism after the prediction that organic compounds differed substantially from inorganic compounds and thus could not be synthesized? It was Wöhler who once wrote, after synthesizing urea, ” The great tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” Today, in undergraduate Organic Chemistry labs across the country, students can synthesize much more complex organic compounds. Planck’s law of black body radiation is older than Einstein’s formula, yet it still sits in the obscurity of scientific textbooks. Evolution has made it into society as a combination of misunderstood descriptions and incorrect depictions and is actively opposed by many of the same people that still hold fast on vitalism. (I guess they don’t get the memos)

Given these examples, I propose that accurately represented and understood science does not make it into culture.

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6 Responses to “Science makes it into culture”


  1. January 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Hello there. Your blog is quite intriguing. I saw an incoming link on my joyous health blog, but don’t actually see anything on your blog. I’m curious if you have an opinion on something I would love to hear it. Let me know. Warm regards, Joy

  2. January 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hmmm. Perhaps Science needs a publicist. And a good make-up artist. And an entourage, with a personal shopper and dresser. OH, a superb hair stylist! Science could set fashion trends, establish the right WHERE to be and WHO to be there with.

    Yep. And popular tv shows. Not those educational things, those suck. More like Jackass Science!

    Science could go ghetto. Suddenly young poor people will find Science cooler than basketball or music as a way out and up. Lab coats rather than overpriced sweats.

    Maybe fast-track Science. Eliminate all of that tedious math and such. Graphic novels, and more YouTube videos!

    It can be done! Science, the new cool!

    Mike

  3. 3 jaredcormier
    January 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I most certainly do have many opinions on many things; you may wish to be a bit more specific. I feel you may get a bit of critical attention, at least from me.

  4. 4 Joy
    January 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Awww, I see. Alright, well you are certainly entitled to your opinion. All the best.

  5. 5 jaredcormier
    January 4, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Don’t take it personally, but nothing upsets me more than someone telling people to avoid flu shots and take vitamins etc. I think I have some fun ahead of me tomorrow evening.

  6. 6 Joy
    January 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

    No worries, I don’t. Debate and opinion are great, it means that people are learning and discovering for themselves, rather than believing everything the government advises — case in point, Canada’s Food Guide – not a viable source of nutrition information.

    Since you like to have fun, check out [link removed]. I have no doubt you will get a kick out of him! Mike Adams is a politically incorrect activist on all things health and wellness, that will certainly put your knickers in knot if you are pro-vaccine. Same with Dr. Mercola – another great resource who is anti-vaccine. 6 reasons to avoid the flu shot: http://www.naturalnews.com/024624_the_flu_flu_shot_health.html Hopefully, you change your mind. 🙂


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