Mars and the value of science
The Mars rover Curiosity has been making its first tentative drives on the surface of the Red Planet. Soon, it will make a quarter-mile journey away from Bradbury Landing to explore a site called Glenelg, where it'll examine rock formations.
On this month's edition of The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that the August 5th Mars landing is more than just another triumph for NASA; it's a reminder that science is reality.
In his recent article, What Mars Means to Earth, Mark writes:
At a time when a large and increasing fraction of the U.S. population does not “believe in” science (i.e., objectively provable reality) – or, worse, has bought into the idea that science is just one choice on the reality menu – NASA has again given concrete reason to understand that science works, and that science is not an option, not a theory, not a menu item, but instead represents the finest efforts of human minds in understanding, and addressing, objective reality.
Mark thinks the Mars mission will help inspire young people to pursue careers in science, but it's just one piece of the puzzle. Huge discoveries are being made in all areas of science these days, and the media need to do a better job of conveying these discoveries to the rest of us.
Mark says the public needs to recognize "the value of science and how it can take us forward as a people, not as a party but as a people," and how it can help us make smarter decisions and get things done.