Military-Industrial Complex and Big Science

World War II was revolutionary insofar as it employed the use of science more than any war that preceded it, leaving a lasting technological legacy. When you consider science as a frontier, there can be found some ideology that echoes that of militaristic expansionism. Though there is plenty of controversy surrounding academia‘s involvement with theContinue reading “Military-Industrial Complex and Big Science”

CRISPR and Eugenics

CRISPR is a gene editing technique that allows us “for the first time to precisely alter, delete or rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism, including us” (Specter, 1). CRISPR is an exciting new frontier in science insofar as gives us the means to correct major genetic flaws such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, andContinue reading “CRISPR and Eugenics”

Separation of Science and State?

The early to mid 20th century saw the emergence of a movement in eugenics. DenHoed wrote that “eugenics gave a scientific veneer to the conclusion that many social ills were caused by the proliferation of the wrong sort of people in that they could be neatly nipped in the bud.” Surprisingly, the eugenics movement hadContinue reading “Separation of Science and State?”

Human Hubris Strikes Again

Geoengineering is defined as a deliberate, large-scale intervention in the climate system to offset or counter the effects of global warming. The two primary concerns being creating solutions for CO2 and solar radiation management. Experts warn geoengineering should just be a means to buy us some time rather than a “license to continue polluting” as missContinue reading “Human Hubris Strikes Again”

An Inconvenient Truth

I ripped off Al Gore for the title. As early as 1856 Eunice Foote was performing experiments on “Circumstances affecting the Heat of the Sun’s Rays” by monitoring the temperature of glass cylinders filled with carbon dioxide and various other gases placed in sunlight. She noticed cylinders filled with carbon dioxide warmed more than theContinue reading “An Inconvenient Truth”

Cashing in on Science

The Scientific Revolution was an imagined order unlike any of its predecessors because it openly admitted ignorance of life’s most pressing questions. Pre-science humans were wont to believe that the golden age of humanity was a bygone era. Harari writes that “once modern culture admitted that there many important things that it still did notContinue reading “Cashing in on Science”

Joyful Union

By Emily Foss The third segment of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens explores the emergence of money, empires and religions and how these imagined orders acted as the three great unifiers of humankind.  Following the Agricultural Revolution, humans continued to live in disparate clans and settlements.  Barter economies began to emerge as specialization increased. Exchange rates of different commoditiesContinue reading “Joyful Union”

Shared Myths, Sacred Glyphs, and Paradigm Shifts

By Emily Foss Yuval Noah Harari describes the Cognitive Revolution (occurring ~70,000 years ago) as the point in human history where Sapiens developed the capability to speak fictively, or communicate about things born entirely of our imagination. Harari claims that “the ability to create imagined realities out of words enabled large numbers of strangers toContinue reading “Shared Myths, Sacred Glyphs, and Paradigm Shifts”