The National Institutes of Health awarded over $17 million to eight Stanford scientists on Sunday. The grant will enable the recipients to pursue major, groundbreaking… Continue Reading »
RISE, recognizing the lack of opportunities for underrepresented or underprivileged
youth, aims to help students further their interests and careers in the sciences through a seven-week, hands-on internship.
I find myself doing such hard thinking at odd intervals, usually when science is treating me either very poorly or very well, or when some environmental catastrophe rouses the media. Mostly, I ask myself, “Does this research matter? Am I doing enough?”
But today, as pennies are being pinched and a growing faction actively denies the societal value of scientific knowledge, those of us working in basic science are feeling a bit on edge. As evidenced by scores of cell biologists linking their work to cancer biology, and numbers of ecologists citing the impacts of climate change, we’re all looking for ways to make our work immediately relevant to society’s needs.
Over the last two centuries, science has progressed to the point where, if something can’t be explained, we have faith that it is simply a matter of time until it is. Science has made us healthier and more secure. It has given us ground-shaking new media. We often forget that there was a time when the best possible means of understanding distant happenings was either an engraving or word of mouth. Now we can now transport actual sensory information across tremendous distances instantaneously. Science has made us, more than ever before, in control and in the know. It has been an empowering force; no longer do we need to cower in fear of inexplicable misfortunes.
With all due respect to Dr. Ioannidis, science just had a magical week, proving awesome, important things left and right in a way that clearly is not designed to gain attention, but instead to enhance the body of human knowledge and the understanding of the magical world that surrounds us…
We developed the ability to think about our condition and a yearning to make sense of it. And we responded with traditions that would help us negotiate a life we could not explain…