The question of staying ahead in science

The question of  staying ahead in science

At the turn of the century several members of our congress proposed that we do away with the patent office.  Can you only imagine what has been invented since that time? The non-forward looking members of Congress with no vision decided that everything worthwhile had already been invented; therefore, there was no need to keep the patent office open.  It is easy to make a list of things we use daily that are a result of scientific research done to put a man on the moon.

Unfortunately, too many of our state and national leaders’ disdain for the opinions of leading scientists can seriously put us at risk of coming up last in the race for scientific development.  Our president, and too many of our statewide elected officials in Texas, seem to want to ignore science in favor of profitability of existing companies.  As an example, scientists from our state universities such as Rice and Texas A&M have told us that Texas is an ideal place to take advantage of wind and solar power. We are told by Rice scientists that the Gulf Coast furnishes more wind power than far West Texas where our wind farms are currently located.  There is little doubt the sun offers plenty of heat that can be developed to produce electricity in our state.  Unfortunately, too many of our leaders want to continue to place all of our eggs in the basket of oil and coal.

We need to take a more realistic view of competition in world science today. China has just landed a probe on the dark side of the moon; it is their fourth attempt, which has turned out to be very successful.  China has an aggressive policy of encouraging students to engage in the sciences and underwrites many of the scholarships of Chinese young people. We need to wake up to the fact that even in the area where America was once a leader, other smaller nations have surpassed us.  We should take fair warning from the Korean sponsored cyber raid on one of our major corporations operating here in the United States.  We are told by intelligence experts the nation of Korea sponsors a highly sophisticated and active cadre of young people developing and learning in the field of computer sciences.

We seriously need our leadership in this nation to take a lesson from history about what happened to the nations of the world who ignored science on behalf of profit or religious grounds. They all came to a bad end. We should not squander the lead that America once had in science, invention and healthy respect for scientific discovery.

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