I found a fine 1/2 hour movie with the title “Why Is Science Important?” I enjoyed it very much, and if you’ve read much of this blog I think you will, too.
Probably half my blog entries are on this topic already, but I of course can’t post the address without saying something!
There is of course no one answer to the question. The usefulness of science can’t be denied. The importance of it for our future is obvious. The medical advances, the identification of the ozone hole, the hopeful possibility of nuclear fusion are all reasons that science is deserving of our attention. But the narrator’s final points are (surprise!) the ones that resonate with me. I love that he finishes his film in a museum. What is a museum but a place of reverence?
Now reverence can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, hearing a group of ten-year-olds say “woah” when they feel an invisble magnetic field, or watch as an atom explodes, is reverence. That’s my drug. That’s what I’m after, every day, that feeling of awe, that wonder at this deep and surprising universe we find ourselves in. We do science, we make science the subject of our art (and what is life but art?), because science can make us say “woah”. Science is important because we are human beings, and we want to know!