This I Believe

Jamie - Greensboro, North Carolina
Entered on February 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: science

I believe in science. I believe in the magic it gives me, living again the wonder that there is an underlying explanation to this chaos. For this I am thankful and daily I try to share my enthusiasm with people. Long gone are the days of the chemistry set and the plant guides, but still my amazement lives on. Soon I will be blessed with a son and I wonder if he will share that same interest.

Look around you and count all of the items that you use. Be it clothing, a cell phone, or even a cereal bar, science has made these “things” more accessible, more practical, and even more amazing. Though all of this may be true, the general public seems to have lost its curiosity. The more luxury is put in their lap, the more they forget about the way it got there. Even in “cocktail-party” conversation I will glow when recalling the groundbreaking theories of Schr”dinger, Planck, or even Watson and Crick (and Franklin). Most of the time this results in a glazed look that is usually reserved for tax lawyers. Undaunted I will push on and try to make people experience the scientific wonders of humans. Even among my coworkers, fellow scientists, I get that same glaze, and that truly saddens me. All of a sudden their degree was a mere means for income, and not the pursuit of knowledge it should be.

I believe in the power of knowledge and I feel sorry for those who shun it. My science gives me that power. When there is a question, I know that my mind and my training will allow me to make a good stab at finding the answer. I believe in searching for the truth and finding out more. Even if I never pursued science in college I still believe that I would feel the calling. This is why I share my world. All persons deserve to be informed. A car mechanic should understand the engineering of the car, and even the engineering of the chemicals that make that car. A janitor could benefit by identifying the bird that alights on the tree outside.

I believe we can all know. This does not mean that the physiology and biochemistry should be recited and applied by every human. This just means that everybody should have a good concept of the basics of the science that affects their lives. Every day, pills are taken, cars combust gas, and most people don’t know why or how. I believe with help that we can know.

As my son comes into the world, I do not want him to be like his father. I believe he will find his own path. Though Newton, Darwin and Curie await him, he does not need to know their dissertations, rather just understand that each made significant contributions to his well being. I believe we should all give thanks to the pioneers before us, even if they weren’t scientists by trade, and further our knowledge. It is the easiest thanks to give, just open up your curious mind and explore.