Science knows no country

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Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.

Louis Pasteur

9 thoughts on “Science knows no country”

  1. Science belongs to all? Mostly true.
    But technology doesn’t.

    In Pasteur’s day, nations competed in controlling territory; the “Great Game”.
    Fifty years after him, the game had changed and nations compete by improving their technology.
    (The race for Covid vaccines being just one example.)
    (The race to the moon, another. And the UAE just put a satellite around Mars. That is a sighpost.)

    In his time the world went from an age of agrarian societies to a world of industrial societies. In the following century it went from industrial to technological.
    The changes haven’t stopped and the competition for control remains as fierce as ever. Only the strategies and tactics have changed.
    The societies that lose sight of this do so at their peril.

    • Science does belong to all. However, some reject it. I am now reading that math is racist, and its focus on getting the right answer is an example of white supremacy.

      • Not really.
        Science means knowledge and the diffusion of knowledge is neither free nor unrestrained. It is limited by things such as closed minds, enforcement of paradigms and “consensus”, and control/suppression of its diffusion.

        Science, much like freedom of the press, belongs to those that have it. Knowledge is ever changing and its diffusion is neither universal nor uniform. As a rule, the bulk of diffusers (educators) are one paradigm behind the borders of knowledge and the masses *two* paradigms behind.

        There is nothing final about science although Pasteur’s generation thought so. Remember the encyclopedists of tbe 18th and 19th century honestly believed they were close to knowing everything worth knowing.

        Then the Rutherford Experiment happened.

        Today tbe successors of the encyclopedists are all over, most notably the believers in the Standard Model and the searchers for a Grand Unified theory. A theory of everything. (snicker)

        There’s other breeds of closed minds out there with less honest motivations than the closed minded but those are scientists in pretense only.

        From where I sit, human understanding of reality breaks into three disciplines:

        Science, which deals with what we *think* is real.
        Engineering, which deals with what we *know* is real enough to put to work.
        Philosophy, which deals with what we think *might* be real.

        None of these bodies belong to everybody and all are subject to revision or deletion according to the power of tbe vested interests. Nothing is final or universal.

          • The useful, verifiable parts of science.
            Depends on the specialty.

            Entire chunks are purely empirical and eschew the theoretical underpinings. Particularly true in the specialties dealing with macroscopic functions. No need to worry about quantum mechanics in civil engineering of roads and buildings but in electronic engineering and state of the art chip building quantum effects are becoming noticeable. And the bleeding edge Quantum Computers rely on figuring out how to manipulate individual atoms and molecules. Material science is expanding that way, too. Room tempersture superconductors lie that way.

            Some of the biological sciences are becoming useful and spawning emergent engineering disciplines. Genetic engineering is still a ways off but things like the MODERNA and PFIZER covid vaccines are pointing the way to Molecular engineering. Proprietary knowledge though. The details are both valuable and dangerous.

            Engineering, as a rule, makes dangerous people. 😀
            (Just ask Homeland Security.)

      • I think that you probably should give up reading works by idiots. Otherwise – given the superior virtues of mathematics – the writers’ logic may force you to believe that racism and white supremacy are good things (though the conclusion that their ideological ideas have rendered them incapable of rational thought is the more obvious one).

        • Problem is those idiots control many of the levers of power.
          And the Big Lie Theory is quite real.

          Dunno about the UK but in the US there has always been a vein of anti-intectualism separate but companion to the vein of populism. Like this one:

          For a variety of reasons the bigger national parties kept their distance until Y2K, since then first one party then both have committed to populism in what has become a classic race to the bottom.

          It won’t be long before the dueling populists realize neither side truly believe in the ideological veneer separating them and merge in a unified anti-intelectual populist movement. What the remaining rationalists do then is TBD.

          • Populism is a reaction to the actions of government and institutions. It’s connected to what is called anti-intellectualism.

            Zillions of people decide the folks who refer to themselves as intellectuals have a poor track record, and are treating them shabbily.

            Populism today is a reaction against the rule by experts. People don’t like the results that come from the experts.

            Populism is a cyclic and refreshing change from expert opinion.

            • You forgot one detail: today’s populism isn’t about rejecting the elites but about FREE-FREE-FREE. It’s about the elites controlling the media, the education system, and offering up $2000 if people vote for them.
              Today’s populism is the elites manipulating the masses to their own benefit. This isn’t Andrew Jackson’s gang.

              “A republic, if you can keep it.”
              Looking doubtful at times.

              As Alexis de Tocqueville is often quoted as saying, “A democracy can only exist until the masses discover that they can vote themselves the government’s largesse.”

              Argentina used to be the standard bearer for “voting themselves the government’s largesse” but Venezuela one-upped them. They just might be replaced by the modern Jacobins.

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