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  1. #1
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    Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Is science being held back by society and or government?

    I believe so. I was talking to an engineering friend of mind about nuclear batteries. I was unaware of their existence. Apparently they can be made small enough for hearing aids while emitting no more harmful radiation than cell phones. Yet this amazing technology which could completly eliminate our issues with oil is unavailable to us due to the anti-nuclear policies of many environmentalists. Here we have the technology to virtually eliminate air pollution and they would rather us destroy the air than advance.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Is science being held back by society and or government?
    Yeah absolutely. Cloning, stem-cell research, genetically modified foods, brain transplantation, any testing on animals, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Apparently they can be made small enough for hearing aids while emitting no more harmful radiation than cell phones. Yet this amazing technology which could completly eliminate our issues with oil is unavailable to us due to the anti-nuclear policies of many environmentalists. Here we have the technology to virtually eliminate air pollution and they would rather us destroy the air than advance.
    WOW! Now that is cool I hadn't heard that before. Do you have a link? I really want to learn more. One can imagine the possibilities!

  3. #3
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    Heres a link with a picture of a nuclear battery:

    http://www.ne.doe.gov/space/rhu-fact.html

    Im glad you mentioned GMOs. In the lab where I used to work they were using corn to create vaccines. Compared to current methods of vaccine production GMOs offer a far cheaper way to mass produce medicine.In southeast asia millions used to go blind from a lack of vitamin A. Crop genetists created a line of rice with increased amounts of vitamin A known as Golden Rice. This is doing wonders to eliminate the deficiency of vitamin A in these countries.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Heres a link with a picture of a nuclear battery:
    1 Watt! That's pretty awesome! But that's straight heat, of course. One would still have to convert that heat into electricity before it becomes a battery. Perhaps a Sterling engine or something would do the trick.

    To compare, a cellphone can transmit at around .2 Watts.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    In southeast asia millions used to go blind from a lack of vitamin A. Crop genetists created a line of rice with increased amounts of vitamin A known as Golden Rice. This is doing wonders to eliminate the deficiency of vitamin A in these countries.
    And I just recently learned that Zambia is not allowing the United States to give them FREE FOOD, because it is genetically modified. The Zambian government is willing to risk millions of their people dying of starvation. Simply sad.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaysis
    1 Watt! That's pretty awesome! But that's straight heat, of course. One would still have to convert that heat into electricity before it becomes a battery. Perhaps a Sterling engine or something would do the trick.

    To compare, a cellphone can transmit at around .2 Watts.



    And I just recently learned that Zambia is not allowing the United States to give them FREE FOOD, because it is genetically modified. The Zambian government is willing to risk millions of their people dying of starvation. Simply sad.
    I do not understand that. Their government can choose a slight risk from genetically modified food, or certain death from starvation. They choose to starve their people.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Is science being held back by society and or government?
    From a societal standpoint I believe that scientific progress is being hampered in at least two ways:

    1. The marketing machine that that U.S. has become convinces many young people that they can become pop stars, pro athletes, Internet pioneers etc. overnight. Many of today's youth are so focused on living the hip-hop lifestyle and getting maximum payout for minimal effort that they have no interest in learning anything of any value outside of material gain.

    2. The fundamentalist religious movements in the U.S. are so focused on promoting ignorance and appealing to Congress to remove anything from public schools that threaten the validity or moral structure of their dogma, that we suffer from having some solid scientific theories (such as evolution) being held back from some eager young minds who can learn and improve on such theories.

  7. #7
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    1. The marketing machine that that U.S. has become convinces many young people that they can become pop stars, pro athletes, Internet pioneers etc. overnight. Many of today's youth are so focused on living the hip-hop lifestyle and getting maximum payout for minimal effort that they have no interest in learning anything of any value outside of material gain.
    I recently read an article in the new york times how the number of Americans entering the scientific fields is on the decline. We are losing our edge against nations that have come to realize the power of a scientist.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  8. #8
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    I read the same article. It's quite unsettling.

  9. #9
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Is science being held back by society and or government?

    I believe so. I was talking to an engineering friend of mind about nuclear batteries. I was unaware of their existence. Apparently they can be made small enough for hearing aids while emitting no more harmful radiation than cell phones. Yet this amazing technology which could completly eliminate our issues with oil is unavailable to us due to the anti-nuclear policies of many environmentalists. Here we have the technology to virtually eliminate air pollution and they would rather us destroy the air than advance.

    Very much so. Sir Frank Whittle, the inventor of the first viable jet engine is a classic example of a scientist who had his inventive genius stalled by political fudge (and scientific rivalry). For his graduation thesis from officer flying school at Cranwell in 1919 he wrote a paper showing the functioning of a simple turbine jet engine. There were no alloys at the time that would stand the 800 or so degrees in the combustion chamber, but he contended that given adequate funding and an open brief, that he could have jet flight within 5-10 years.

    Imagine a Battle of Britain fought between the Luftwaffe and an RAF fighter command with 600 mph to the speed of sound jet fighters armed with four 20mm cannon, and rockets for ground attack. In fact it might not have got that far even, they would have totally devastated the german blitzkreig in France and Belgium. Britain may have even felt confident enough to send a few squadrons to poor 'old' Poland and bring a full stop to that blitzkreig.

    ps. If Britain had demanded royalties for every jet engine built in the States and other parts of the world, Britian would be the richest country in the world. Four Gloster Whittle type jet engines were shipped free gratis over the Pond and they were the basis of the USAs post war aviation industry. There are many other Brit inventions and ideas that you got on the cheap. While we should feel gratitude To Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam should conversely feel a modicum of gratitude to the old colonial master.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  10. #10
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Godlesspagan
    From a societal standpoint I believe that scientific progress is being hampered in at least two ways:

    1. The marketing machine that that U.S. has become convinces many young people that they can become pop stars, pro athletes, Internet pioneers etc. overnight. Many of today's youth are so focused on living the hip-hop lifestyle and getting maximum payout for minimal effort that they have no interest in learning anything of any value outside of material gain.

    2. The fundamentalist religious movements in the U.S. are so focused on promoting ignorance and appealing to Congress to remove anything from public schools that threaten the validity or moral structure of their dogma, that we suffer from having some solid scientific theories (such as evolution) being held back from some eager young minds who can learn and improve on such theories.

    Let's see. The industrial revolution occured at the turn of the 20th century in America. In 1880, the percentage of Christians was greater than the percentage today. In addition, creationism was still tought in schools. Despite this, the country's technology and production flourished. In short, you have made two observations which do not have any validity when measured against real occurences.

    In response to your first comment, you are attacking people for finding productivity in things they enjoy. Sounds like a fundamentalist Christian argument. I think, the problem is that with property rights deteriorating and compensation for individual accomplishmnet diminishing the incentive to create and produce science has been marginalized. Why should I build a better phone network knowing the government will make me share it with my competitors? Why created a better software operating system when I will be sued for being successful? Why create an electric vehicle that is as good as a petroleum vehicle when I know the government will reward me for any product I release? We are all motivated by personal wealth of one sort or another. The best and brightest minds will find a niche that allows them the greatest rewards for the least suffering. Isn't that the American way? The more you produce, the more you earn? Well, when production is deemed secondary to need, then those who can produce will feel less inclined to do so.

  11. #11
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Ibelsd,
    Your rebuttal seems to start by arguing that society or government has not impeded scientific advancement. Yet, you conclude your post with statements that support the need for non-commercial, open government funding for research. Since the government has routinely slashed such funding over the past decade +, this supports the claim that government does impede science. What is your point?

    Wow - old thread - I miss Omaysis! :(
    Its turtles, all the way down.

  12. #12
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    <---Future Genetic Engineer.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  13. #13
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    <---Future Genetic Engineer.
    Congrats, you'll love the work. I'm currently working with a grad student who is engineering corn to produce vaccines for Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus, a common disease in pigs.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  14. #14
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenstone
    Ibelsd,
    Your rebuttal seems to start by arguing that society or government has not impeded scientific advancement. Yet, you conclude your post with statements that support the need for non-commercial, open government funding for research. Since the government has routinely slashed such funding over the past decade +, this supports the claim that government does impede science. What is your point?

    Wow - old thread - I miss Omaysis! :(
    My point was that religion is not to blame as one person suggested.

  15. #15
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    No it isn't, but it certainly is social. If enough of the population wanted it (any scientific endavor) then our government would have to do so to stay in office....but people as a whole tend to be more like sheep than wolves.................:O)
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

  16. #16
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberclown
    No it isn't, but it certainly is social. If enough of the population wanted it (any scientific endavor) then our government would have to do so to stay in office....but people as a whole tend to be more like sheep than wolves.................:O)
    Too many wolves and they have to start eating each other you know.
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  17. #17
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    Is science being held back by society and or government?

    I believe so. I was talking to an engineering friend of mind about nuclear batteries. I was unaware of their existence. Apparently they can be made small enough for hearing aids while emitting no more harmful radiation than cell phones. Yet this amazing technology which could completly eliminate our issues with oil is unavailable to us due to the anti-nuclear policies of many environmentalists. Here we have the technology to virtually eliminate air pollution and they would rather us destroy the air than advance.
    Ah yes, the environmentalists again...

    In Ontario they completed a nuclear power plant some years ago. However, bewteen the start of construction and completion, governemnets and policies changed. It never went on0line -- at least as anuclear plant. It burns coal instead....dumping all kinds of pollutants into the air.....but hey at least it's not nuclear.

    Although I think it is crazy to put a nuclear plant on a fault line, nuclear power in Noth America has been proven to be a safe and clean source of energy. I lve in a state with the most nuclear plants...my youngest calls them "cloud factories" due to the harmless steam they prodcue in the winter.

  18. #18
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus
    Ah yes, the environmentalists again...

    In Ontario they completed a nuclear power plant some years ago. However, bewteen the start of construction and completion, governemnets and policies changed. It never went on0line -- at least as anuclear plant. It burns coal instead....dumping all kinds of pollutants into the air.....but hey at least it's not nuclear.

    Although I think it is crazy to put a nuclear plant on a fault line, nuclear power in Noth America has been proven to be a safe and clean source of energy. I lve in a state with the most nuclear plants...my youngest calls them "cloud factories" due to the harmless steam they prodcue in the winter.
    It's more of a hassle to have to deal with the waste products than it is to let pollutant clouds fill the air. Corporate laziness I say. Might I also inject my opinion that this is supported by Republican governments...
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

  19. #19
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Three Mile Island was a close run thing. In Britain we have had one or two scares and spills. There is no such beast as 100% safety. Statistics with tell you that it is only a matter of time before a big event. At least in a conventional system a big event may be contained within the site. Chernobyl rendered several miles around unsafe to live in even now. Effected and affected the saleability of British milk and Welsh hill lambs, and left a dangerous and crumbling mausoleum to the folly of man for many generations to come.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; August 27th, 2004 at 11:43 PM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  20. #20
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    Re: Scientific Advancement held back by Society/Government

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberclown
    No it isn't, but it certainly is social. If enough of the population wanted it (any scientific endavor) then our government would have to do so to stay in office....but people as a whole tend to be more like sheep than wolves.................:O)
    If enough of the people want something, than individuals become more determined to provide a supply of that something. Government should have very little to do with such progress.

 

 
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