What to expect: Science 2013



Unstoppable Machine

How much do we care about science?

It is a truth not difficult to prove that science is an important part of our lives. We don’t have to look too far to detect its clear influence. But how much do we care about it?
We are surrounded by science and its products in our houses, working places and even when we go on holidays. It is part of the simplest things we do everyday, from ourpersonal hygiene to the food we eat. Without science, our routines would be unrecognizable. So we must be dedicating a good share of our attention to science. Are we?

It was long ago that we learned to trust science and, without even knowing how, we now depend on it. We rely on its discoveries to change the way we live and we truly believe that its progresses will create a better future. It has been used to generate prosperity and it now stands as a valuable resource to be used for social and economical development. But in the course of our lives, how many times have we wondered: -what are scientists doing right now in their labs around the world and how is it going to affect us?
These questions do not follow us during the day or prevent us from sleeping at night. Unless something goes wrong, and then we realize there are things we do want to know. The milk left out of the fridge has gone off; – can we have products that last longer? Pollution in our cities increases every day; – can we have new ways to clean the air? It takes too many hours to travel to Australia; – can we have faster planes? And, in the case of deeper concerns: – will we be free of diseases one day? We do want to know if, when attacked by that expected

Credits: Ana Costa

seasonal cold or defied by a terrifying unforeseen cancer, science will give us the answers.

To many of us, when things go wrong, hopes are deposited in science.

Commonly, science addresses problems and tries to solve them, from the infinitely small of nanodimensions, to the infinitely big of cosmic spaces. And if many have been solved in the past, more are to be solved soon. But science does more than that and if we don’t realize the broad nature of its a
chievements, we may be missing the fundamentals of the world we are part of. We can turn to science when things go wrong, but science will give us even more if we ask about the things that go well. To the questions concerning our problems, we should add the questions arising from our amazements. And as irrelevant as they may seem, questions are the first step leading to an explanation.
Credits: Ana Costa

Credits: Ana Costa

Nature behaves in such a way that novelty is put before us every day. As a result, we often don’t understand it or comprehend its full meaning. Living organisms, still rocks, or physical phenomena are only a few examples of never-ending sources of pertinent questions. Even, or dare we say, specially, when they obey their natural rules in a remarkable perfect manner. By questioning the well doings of nature, science prepares to understand the misbehaviours that can originate inconvenients, pain and death. The more we know about the governing processes behind the common everyday aspects of what surrounds us, the easier it will be to avoid and overcome the defaults that we are to encounter.

Next time we try to reason how planes can become faster in the future, we could also try to understand how the different birds su
cceed in the air.
Eventually, science is there to satisfy our c
uriosity and our needs. In the end, it may very likely shape our life. But we have to ask the questions to get the answers. So, are we willing to care more about science? If we want our particular issues to be addressed, may they be desperate enquiries or curious doubts, clearly the answer has to be yes.

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