David Bercovici, an esteemed professor and geophysicist, discussed with both our afternoon section and evening seminar the fine details (well, maybe only detailed to us) of the Big Bang, dark matter, Red Stars, habitable climates and our struggle to prevent climate change, alongside a number of relevant topics of “time and space.” Bercovici shared the the evolution of the recognition of science – that many initially searched for religion through comfort and origin stories. As scientific discovery progressed, fact and science served as the new gospel and bible, offering reassurance in the surrounding world and its existence. However, while we continue to scour every last centimeter of the earth, turning over every rock and boulder in our way, we face the same struggle of acceptance that those before us faced. While 7 billion humans inhabit the Earth, many more billions and trillions of organisms co-exist, mostly of course with no care, comprehension, or even awareness of “what the next generation may look like.”
It’s not only important to discover the information and truth that we seek scientifically, but also to ensure that it is relayed and communicated properly and effectively. Climate change is real, yes, and it is widely impactful, yes – but how do we convince anyone to care? Issues of understanding, comprehension, and most importantly, empathy, plague the majority of (at least) the United States, as partisan conflict gets increasingly worse alongside the climate’s state. A discussion of morality is often ignored in the scientific world as we seek answers and understanding. However, this discussion of morality is glossed over, when conservative parties deny and ignore the suggestions, nay, mandatory actions, issued by leading scientific discoverers. Bercovici (at least in this chapter) doesn’t fully address this idea of getting the reader to care on the importance of discovery, an increasingly vital issue we face.
So how do we convince one another of truth? While we now know that the Earth is round, it of course took years and years of explanation and convincing, despite having had the scientific truth for time before society was able to culturally accept this. Blind faith and trust in “what came first” is often reason enough for humanity to accept what is true, however when scientific inaccuracies are widely regarded first, it is massively difficult to alter our beliefs. Today, we live in a culture and society where truth is disregarded and inaccuracies flourish (especially politically), however in order for progress and unity to exist, this is an impossible barrier that must be broken.