I read SCIENCE magazine as a way to maintain my awareness of what is going on in the world of science. In the 23 November issue there are several articles which caused me to question my ongoing lack of interest in subjects which seem to require that I must live a long time so that I might learn the outcome of work being done in the present. I am 86 years old and this line of thought seems reasonable for me. However, my recent reading of SCIENCE magazine articles caused me to uncharacteristically hope that I would be around in order to bear witness to what the outcomes of these projects would be. Also, I recently read the summary section of the US Government climate change report that was released the Friday after Thanksgiving day (2018). What I read made me comfortable with the certainty that I would not live to see the worst of what is coming for the humans of our world. We are now seeing for ourselves the early effects of climate change. I am convinced we Humans are in line to experience some terrible events. Read the report for yourselves if you believe I have succumbed to an unwarranted alarmist point of view regarding climate change. This was the context of what I was thinking about when I read the SCIENCE articles. It is confusing to me to entertain draconian thoughts about the future effects of climate change and at the same time try to look optimistically toward a future reward of increased insight into science subjects. I suspect I am not alone in being confused in this way.
The first of the SCIENCE articles is entitled “ASIA SET TO TAKE CENTER STAGE IN HIGGS STUDIES”. The existence of the Higg’s Boson was confirmed in 2012 by tests conducted at the CERN proton beam collider, located in Switzerland. This is a very large and expensive machine by any standard. It will be used to conduct more Higg’s tests over the next several years to refine the original confirming data. However, the exploration of the physics of the Higg’s boson depends on future tests which require higher energy levels than which is available using the CERN collider. The article informs the reader that China and Japan are the only nations that seem willing to provide the several Billions of dollars necessary to build the higher energy colliders. The US Government does not seem to be interested in pursuing the matter. The work has the potential of lifting our understanding of the physics of matter to a higher level of understanding. Another article, with the title CRACKING THE CAMBRIAN, advances the notion that fieldwork now underway to obtain newer fossils of life forms from the Cambrian era and new technology instruments, that will be used to analyze them, will combine to provide a much richer understanding of how life evolved on Earth, perhaps we will learn more about how life began on Earth. New advances in artificial biology are described in ARTIFICIAL CELLS GAIN COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Other articles include LUXE RESEARCH SHIP TO EXPLORE THE DEEP OCEAN and NASA TO PAY PRIVATE SPACE COMPANIES FOR MOON RIDES. Taken together, these articles suggest to me that the next ten years will be filled with many new and exciting discoveries in the world of science. However, I am convinced the World political order will be challenged as never before, in the same period of time, by deleterious environmental changes. It is obvious to me the collective response of the human race in mitigating and adapting to the World’s climate change will determine the fate of mankind. The present political situation in the United States does not tempt me to believe the prognosis for us is anything other than grim!