Archive for October, 2013

A Short Love Note to Science

Yesterday for our ES1541 communications module, we were tasked to come up with a two-minute presentation on either ‘ES1541 and me’ or ‘Science and me’. I was a nervous wreck, but it was a good opportunity to consolidate and review just what I love so much about science.

Don’t be mistaken though, I love the arts as well! Below is the script I based the presentation on.

“Good afternoon all,

I will be presenting on the topic ‘Science and me’, and I chose this because I love science, and I believe it loves me too.

First, I have to clarify that I am a terrible science student – I actually struggled to get into this course, being rejected during the first round of applications. In fact I’ve always scored better in the humanities. However, passion and aptitude (if you can call it that) don’t always coincide.

Though my science grades are terrible, I love science for a number of reasons. It exists independent of man, unlike the arts, which are largely social constructs. Being a curious person, the questions and mysteries science presents appeal very much to me. It also makes me feel stupid and ignorant, and I love that.

Science describes existence. It is not something we invented, a system we can use, change and manipulate, but not create. It doesn’t matter if humans exist – Numbers, the laws of physics, the elements and life itself – all these exist independent of man, fundamental truths of the universe. And to a curious person, this presents a great mystery and an awesome sense of wonder.

Now when I say science makes me feel small and stupid, it’s because there are so many things we have not yet found answers for, and so many questions that have not even been considered.

And it’s okay for us to not know, in fact it is EXCITING! That is exactly why we investigate, why we continue in our struggles for answers and solutions and knowledge! How boring this world would be if we knew to answers to everything!

Martin A. Schwartz, the famous cell biologist, refers to this as ‘productive stupidity’ (not academic stupidity, where we don’t know because we don’t study). If we aren’t afraid to make mistakes, we are free to stumble along, learn from errors and experiences and ultimately move forward till we find the answers.

We are raised in an education system that values getting the right answers, but if we are always so afraid of being wrong, making mistakesĀ andĀ asking questions, how can we discover new things, or find new solutions?

Science embraces those who aren’t afraid to be stupid, and in so doing, embraces me :).

In short, even though I struggle with content, I am in love with the spirit of discovery in science, and the many mysteries it presents which I find worthwhile in trying to unravel.

AND it makes me feel stupid, but that’s okay.”

Anyway this is just my opinion on science and why I love it. Putting it out there so I won’t forget!