Saturday, September 10, 2005


Currently watching: A Science Odyssey -- This is a PBS-aired series that takes various branches of science (Medicine & Health, Physics & Astronomy, Human Behavior, Technology, and Earth & Life Sciences) and tracks their histories from the start of the 20th Century (or so) to the present. I'm just finishing up the second program now. I don't claim intimacy with all the concepts presented, but I'm tremendously optimistic about what science and technology have in store for our future. (Check out the blogrolled Speculist if you haven't done so already.)

After you do that, check out VodkaPundit's excellent post on stem cell research and the recent change in leadership on Bush's Bioethics Council. My view on research such as this is that if it can be done, it will be done. But will it be done by a military or economic rival first? Excerpt:

The United States didn't grow rich in the 19th Century because we dug coal, built railroads, or milled steel. We didn't grow even richer in the 20th because we drilled oil, assembled automobiles, or fabricated computer chips. Rather, we grew rich because we fearlessly embraced the latest technologies, and freely pursued them on a scale impossible anywhere else.

The specifics – coal, cars, chips – were incidental to the times. The secrets to our success were the generalities: freedom, fearlessness, and scale.

We won't stay rich in the 21st Century by drilling more oil in Alaska or wherever – that's so Early Industrial. We won't do it by building better cars, a relic (still useful, but still a relic) of the last century. We'll stay ahead of newcomers like China the same way we overtook our European competitors over the last 100 years: By seizing what's new, and pursuing it freely and fearlessly on a large scale.

And when I say "large scale," I mean it. There is no scale larger than biotech.

One day, the opportunity to have one's head grafted on to Roosevelt Grier will be open to all.


Post a Comment

<< Home