For the most part, scientific progress occurs behind-the-scenes, in obscure university laboratories or in out-of-town science parks. However, as scientific progress becomes ever more rapid and its consequences ever more central to daily life, public engagement in science and good scientific education become ever more important for school pupils and adults alike. Yet despite this, huge sections of popular culture and mass media shy away from science coverage. In other instances, popular science reportage can oversimplify the issues involved, or even underestimate the capabilities and enthusiasm of its audience. The general public is expected to understand nuanced political policies and complex economic issues (our entire electoral process assumes as much). Yet as soon as even comparatively simple scientific material is discussed, there can be a tendency to revert to the "physics is phun" mentality and plead with the audience not to switch off. Thankfully, things are changing.
On The Greatest Minds, we are proud to offer a selection of thoughtful and, frequently, unashamedly scientific content. Some of this is deliberately aimed at those with scientific training, but much of it is not. From the minute they are born, human beings are fundamentally curious about the world around them- this is scientific curiosity at its most raw and instinctive and it is something that we all posses, whatever path we have chosen in life and whatever career we follow all day long.
Those who pursue science seriously, rapidly find that it demands just as much creativity, personal sacrifice and work as the finest of the arts or any top-level sport. In its own way, the finest science is every bit as beautiful as the finest art. The Great Minds section of this site is about those scientists who have shaped our world- their discoveries, their challenges, their lives and, of course, their great minds. It is about the ideas and the ideals that drove them, but also about their humanity.
Science is important for its own sake, but what is even more important is what we do with our knowledge; mankind can build or he/she can destroy. Science expands our capabilities for both. Our future and that of the other living beings with whom we share this planet depends upon mankind making wise and ethical choices about how to use the technology we discover and create. This question is perhaps the most important issue of our time and yet, surprisingly, this topic is very little discussed. It is a theme that recurs on TheGreatestMinds. If all that sounds a little heavy and really rather pompous, we do have some more normal stuff on here as well- Steampunk and articles on moths and squishy beetles and chosing binoculars and the hidden drugs in everyday plants.
We cannot cater to everybody, but we hope to have something to offer to almost everyone and a lot of things to offer to a few people. Have we suceeded? Well, that's your call ...If there is something you would like to see on this website that we have omitted, feel free to drop me a line . We make no guarantees, but we are always happy to hear from readers.
Thanks for reading.
V. L. Welch ,
Some 470 years after the scientific revolution, we live in a world shaped by science. From medicines and surgical procedures,to power supply, transport and communication, modern life is enhanced (and sometimes only possible) because of the innovations of scientists,
past and present.
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