Monday, February 16, 2009

Scientific Life Lessons

Yesterday I returned from Chicago and the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. There was a lot to learn from the over 10,000 scientists, students, press, and interested observers, including Al Gore and other Nobel Prize winners. Here are a few lessons I took from my attendance of some of the scientific symposia, as well as from general observation.

  • Kissing may help the immune system as well as provide a whole host of other benefits for people wanting to be closer to each other, not just romantically, but among family members and friends.
  • As a pick-up line, offering to boost the immune system of someone is less-than effective.
  • Al Gore is charismatic, passionate, and exciting to listen to. If only it had been obvious eight years ago.
  • Reporting science is complex and can be difficult to convey to the public. Scientists are often their own worst advocates, with an unfortunate habit of making even stories like The Creation of Artificial Life seem boring and dull.
  • Scientific understanding grows both more quickly and more slowly than might be expected, with some huge leaps rapidly proven and accepted while other, superficially small changes in paradigm facing enormous opposition.
  • The most important lesson is also the most basic: Science is interesting, science is important, and scientific meetings provide stunning glimpses into a universe as compelling as any political race, sports contest or economic issue.
Now if you'll excuse me, my immune system needs a boost.

1 comment:

  1. Liked this story, good content, and made me left reader with a good feeling at the end. Nice!