The Importance of Useful Science

The question of useful scientific discipline has completely outclassed much argument on methodical funding, insurance policy, and ethics. Some argue that we need to generate science more directly tightly related to solving person problems by driving scientists to pay attention to practical concerns (or by least, problems which has a clear technical application). This sort of demands would appear to minimize scientific knowledge that is normally contestable, sluggish, or flat out wrong. Yet this point overlooks the importance of a life perspective in scientific training, and the history of serendipity which includes spawned many valuable discoveries, from John Pasteur’s finding of a vaccine for rabies to Bill Perkin’s invention of quinine.

Other scholars have argued that it is required to put science back in touch together with the public by making research even more relevant to real, verifiable problems affecting people’s lives (as evidenced by the fact that research research has contributed to the development of everything out of pens to rockets and aspirin to organ transplantation). Still other folks suggest that we want a new structure for considering research impact on society as well as for linking exploration with decision makers to enhance climate modify adaptation and other policy areas.

This exhibition draws on eight texts, via APS participants and from other sources, to explore the historical and current importance of scientific understanding in responding to pressing societal problems. That suggests that, whatever the specific trouble is, science and its particular products have been essential to each of our human success—physically, socially, and economically. The scientific info we depend on, from weather condition data and calendars to astronomical tables plus the development of cannon, helped us build places, grow food, extend life expectancies, and enjoy cultural successes.

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