Phys. Perspect. 20 (2018) 163–164 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 1422-6944/18/020163-2 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00016-018-0222-2 Physics in Perspective Editorial Francis Bacon had a terriﬁc idea. Enough of learning about nature by happen- stance or mere trial and error! What if each country created a community of scientists who would interrogate nature systematically? What if these countries then used the ﬁndings of such systematic inquiry to guide their actions? Would the effect not be to help human life ﬂourish? Bacon thought so, and his vision ani- mates his posthumously published parable, New Atlantis. Over the years, developed countries have largely enacted Bacon’s far-sighted idea, creating and maintaining scientiﬁc facilities and supporting communities of scientists to work in them. Yet where Bacon envisioned a seamless relation between the scientiﬁc community and the island society of the New Atlantis, such relations in the modern world have been marked by friction. Friction can arise between scientiﬁc facilities and the surrounding community. It can also arise between research facilities and the politicians who control the purse strings. Both of these frictions are evident in ‘‘The Fiftieth Anniversary of Brookhaven National Laboratory: A Turbulent Time,’’ by Peter D. Bond. Bond, a physicist who served
Physics in Perspective – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 11, 2018
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