ScienceGeist: the spirit of science
Science is the pursuit of understanding the laws that govern the physical world. The ultimate spirit of this endeavor is to benefit humanity with the application of this knowledge. It is our responsibility as scientists, politicians and citizens to discern how best to combine the tools of science and policy to bring new technologies into use. For this process to work efficiently, all of us must have a basic understanding of scientific principles and the political process. The primary goal of this collection of articles is to examine how science and policy interweave to produce a fabric of technologies that contribute to our everyday lives.
The primary bond that unites science and policy is, of course, technological advancement. However, delving deeper, we seek to understand the historical events, sociological influences and other driving forces that have led to groundbreaking scientific developments. In short, we are interested in illuminating the HUMAN impact. There are myriad influences, both obvious and subtle, that drive our technological advancements. It is crucial that the terms “science” and “policy” go hand-in-hand when considering how to address the most pressing needs of our times. While this may appear to be an obvious partnership, the fact remains that scientists and policy-makers often miss opportunities to combine their expertise and insights in ways that would significantly advance their respective goals.
We aim to bridge that gap.
ScienceGeist has been developed as an accessible, astutely culled source of information for those interested in technical and policy issues. This blog is an educational endeavor for us, the editors, as we hope it will be for you, our readers. In addition to solicited editorial contribution, we welcome and are excited to learn from input from the broader scientific and political communities.
The writing on this site will be theme-based. By that, we mean that we will choose a topic and post several articles covering this topic over the course of a few weeks. We intend to delve into scientific background, historical events and anecdotal asides, scientific and technological innovations, and current policy, and, ultimately, conclude with an editorial endorsing our view of how the science and policy should progress in each case. In our writing, we hope to convey our full respect for those making policy decisions and performing research. We also hope to instill a touch of levity in our observations and express our enthusiasm for the work being conducted in two fields that are often dismissed as being too dry or daunting for the uninitiated.
Formally trained as scientists, our initial focus will be of technical/historical background in order to engage you, the reader, and bring us all onto the same page. As the site evolves, it is our goal to learn about and place more emphasis on policy’s role in the implementation of critical scientific developments. We truly feel that most of our development, as editors of the site, will come from the ideas and intimate knowledge that the ScienceGeist community shares in our discussion forums.
Whether climate change, health care or the global energy economy, there is no way to effectively address these critical issues without combining scientific coherence with responsible policy. It is our sincere hope and expectation that ScienceGeist.net will become a forum for determining how we, as a community, can best use science and policy for the benefit and advancement of society.