Category Archives: Science

Neil Armstrong’s open letter

I know that I am showing my age but I distinctly remember watching TV when the famous astronaut, Neil Armstrong, took the first steps on the Moon. Ever since that day, Mr. Armstrong has been a hero of mine. Of course it helped that he was from north central Ohio which is less than a hundred miles from where I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Neil and others recently wrote an open letter condemning the new budget for NASA. I thought I should reproduce it here.

The United States entered into the challenge of space exploration under President Eisenhower’s first term, however, it was the Soviet Union who excelled in those early years.  Under the bold vision of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with the overwhelming approval of the American people, we rapidly closed the gap in the final third; of the 20th century, and became the world leader in space exploration.

Space Elevators Climbing Towards Reality

Arthur C. Clarke often wrote about space elevators. Space elevators (in theory) are mechanical connections between the surface of the Earth and synchronous satellites.  This concept is pure science fiction – or is it? Great article in Wired that discusses some advances to develop the technology. Even with these developments, I doubt that this will happen in my lifetime.

Health Reform and Cancer

There is a very interesting opinion in the Wall Street Journal this morning that bears reading for anyone that is interested in both sides of the conversation on universal health care.  I am reproducing key parts that I thought were most interesting.  Click through to read the entire page.

As is obvious by Ms. Ulfik’s opinion, cancer patients should have a real concern about any change to their insurance and the way the “system” works.  While the US may have a large number of uninsured, we lead the world in innovation within medical and pharmaceutical technology.

Every cancer patient needs these things, especially hope. But the government’s plan to reform the health-care system in this country threatens all of this—particularly the development of new treatments.

 

Three years later the lymphoma was back and I faced more chemo. This is so often the pattern of cancer: recurring disease and repeated chemo. In the end patients often die not from the disease, but from the treatments.

Should scientists stay out of politics

Interesting post over at “Is It Getting Warmer?“.  It is a discussion of scientists and their thirst for getting too involved in politics.

It is an unfortunate turn of events that most big scientific discussions (such as global warming, in this case) turn into political discussions.  This could include other things such as abortion, stem cell research, and the teaching of evolution in the classroom.  All of these things have a strong scientific discussion which implies that there is a truth somewhere.  However, in these cases, the truth is not clear cut and the science is probably not solid.  In most of these cases, there is some level of gray in the conversation and much of what is discussed as fact is simply hypothesis.