Science for the sake of science…

A friend posted a link to this article, A crisis of perception, on Facebook asking for my response. The article talks about how the perception of science is currently shifting from that of discovery to pure application. I wrote out a response and felt it was an important enough topic to post here. (My apologies for my otherwise lack of posting – I’ll post my reasons for this in a separate blog post entirely.)

Response to A Crisis of Perception:
I think a lot of this links back to today’s current lack of established classes that promote critical thinking for thinking’s sake going all the way back to high school or even jr. high and elementary. There is a saying I’ve seen going around that says something like “We’ve forgotten that college is meant to build a mind, not a career.”

Until we can get away from having to tie everything to money, we will continue down this path where every degree ends up being sponsored by a company, or a political party. Students will be like racecar drivers with sponsor patches littering their laptops and mobile devices. And, the only thing our society will be able to do is what our sponsors have had us trained to do.

Gone will be the days of innovation – one of the only things that actually makes us different from our competitor countries. This sort of thing is already happening in China [1][2]. They are GREAT engineers, but they are poor innovators. Without a culture that promotes science for the sake of science, that’s where we are heading…

[1] Beijing tries to push beyond ‘Made in China’ status to find name-brand innovation

[2] Why China won’t be innovative for at least 20 more years