Albert Einstein once said: “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.” I think this is what he meant.
Yesterdays front cover of the Daily Express was sporting the headline that now, even dieting can bring you cancer. We’ve seen in recent years how everything from talking on the phone to playing with your kids could give you cancer, but joking aside, this is just silly. Some survey done across some people found out something, and ‘therefore’ dieters are now at a greater risk of Cancer, all be it not before they’ve bought their Daily Express. Now, I accept, that low fat dieting taken to the extreme is obviously dangerous, but throw in the word ‘cancer’, and heads start turning.
What we’ve seen through recent history, is that if you want to bring about change, writing to your MP and staging a demonstration is probably the least effective way to do it. Look at the strikes of the 70’s. Did the workers all get the higher pay, more holiday and better working conditions they so religously campaigned for? No, they all got fired! Yet if people want to stop the opening of, say, a new factory somewhere, all they have to do is ‘prove’ it could make somebody terminally ill, or that it could kill some one of a kind slug that has nested there for millions of years, or that it might make the landscape look ugly. No, far more effective is to ‘prove’ in some way shape or form, that something, if not acted upon, could cause the PM to loose the next election.
If the teachers really want to keep their pensions in tact, all they have to do is prove that if they have to work till they’re 70, and get less money afterwards, then they’ll have a higher chance of developing cancer later in life.
In my opinion, the problem is, that we have loads of graduate scientists who want to get out and make a name for themselves, and, as with it seems everyone in Britain, find a quick short cut to fame and fortune. But if we’re not careful, we might just find ourselves chasing our tails, in a battle against everything that could be bad for somebody’s health. Science these days isn’t as much about finding out facts, as it is devising sensational theories for other scientists and governments to look through and see which ones will bring the highest revenues in the forthcoming year.
Here’s my solution: the devil makes work for idle scientists, so all we’ve got to do, is give them something to do. I think here, the music industry could teach us a lesson. With Britains 10,000 wannabe celebrities, Simon Cowell came along, put them all against each other, and then financed the winner to have a season of fame, before quietly disappearing from the scene. Let’s do the same with scientists. Let’s take all these freshly graduated scientists, with their theories that they’ll go to any length to publish, and put them against each other in a TV show competition. At the last round, the public can text in their votes, and the revenues from that can be the winnings, and the pay off for the scientist to do mankind a favour and keep his research to himself.
It is said, that it takes consistency in all experiments to corroborate, but not prove, a physical theory. It takes only one valid contrary experiment to disprove a theory. Or at least it did, until last week a scientist in Reading published a report to the contrary.