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The Future Might Be Okay

The Future Might Be Okay
neildegrassetyson

I had a great moment last week. After waiting in line for technical difficulties to be solved (see end of blog for punch line), me and some friends attended a fantastic lecture by America’s most beloved astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Now, I am a nerd’s nerd and he had me at his first book but the thrilling thing is that A PHYSICIST SOLD OUT THE BOB CARR THEATER! He even joked about it “You do know this is a talk about astrophysics…right?”
Why is this thrilling? Because we are living at the edge of a neo-dark age driven by superstition, apathy, political hucksterism, poor education and fear. Take a look at SLATE:http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2017/02/the_war_on_science_is_a_trap.html or at the Union of Concerned Scientists: http://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/attacks-on-science/trump-administration-fakes-science-justify#.We5bHIZJlE4 or, close to my home, at this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/01/new-florida-law-lets-any-resident-challenge-whats-taught-in-science-classes/?utm_term=.ec11985ff119
It’s enough to make you want to move to Sweden or other forward-thinking countries at the forefront of good science like…California or Colorado! The point is, I saw with my own eyes a diverse, enthusiastic, energized and passionate crowd of people with a thirst for scientific perspective, an appreciation of what science is and does for humanity and a delight in wondering around the universe. These are my neighbors and it felt good to know that they were there.
Recite the names: Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Nettie Stevens, Copernicus, Lise Meitner, Tycho Brahe, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, –all martyrs to science crushed by religious dogma, sexism and racism and all major contributors to what it turns out we know and take for granted about the universe. With a voice like DeGrasse Tyson’s getting through at the neighborhood level, I’m feeling better about preventing the future martyrdom and vilification of the thousands of minds ready to be intrigued, engaged and enobled by the factual poetry of observation, measurement, experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. An elegant process that, as the antidote to dogma, is at its most fruitful not when claiming to know the absolute unchangeable truth, but in the presence of a new question. We need leaders who are interested in what we can KNOW, not in what they may believe.
As we walked into the theater, an usher told us that there had been a problem with the projection system and that’s why we were delayed getting in. Neil fixed it himself. #appliedphysics

Bob Allen
A nationally recognized speaker, Bob has presented to various groups that include the U.S. Air Force, Association of Travel Marketing Executives, Allied Travel Organization, National Telecommunications Conference to name a few.