“Whenever I found out anything remarkable, I have thought it my duty to put down my discovery on paper, so that all ingenious people might be informed thereof.” -Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
We all have our biases, even if we ourselves are scientists. Yet if we want to make quality decisions about the world as we navigate through it, we need to be accurately informed. Without that as the foundation for our decision-making, we’re no better than an ideologue, going with our gut in spite of what the facts might actually indicate.
Many enthusiasts have proposed using an “impossible space engine” for interstellar travel, but there’s a long way from a mysterious thrust observed to a starship. Image credit: Mark Rademaker, privately (via Twitter), composed for NASA Eagleworks.
It’s a real problem that there’s so much misinformation out there, and it’s a problem that’s made worse by the fact that we’ve come to accept it. Most journalism and reporting today is of exceptionally low-quality, and somehow, the signal rarely manages to cut through the noise. We can make the world better – we can make it more informed – but it’s going to take work.
A fusion device based on magnetically confined plasma. “Hot” fusion is scientifically valid; “cold” fusion, not so much. Image credit: PPPL management, Princeton University, the Department of Energy, from the FIRE project at http://fire.pppl.gov/.