When Science and Politics Collide

When Science and Politics Collide 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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physics in Perspective Springer Journals

When Science and Politics Collide

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Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Physics; Physics, general
ISSN
1422-6944
eISSN
1422-6960
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00016-018-0222-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal

Physics in PerspectiveSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 11, 2018

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