We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him takes impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of wolds." I suppose we all thought that one way or another.
A three part audio series from the CBC Ideas program on Canada's new focus on applied research at the expense of curiosity-driven fundamental work. It includes a bit of the history of science. The US is moving in a similar path and serious damage has already been done,
Over the next two decades, Villepreux-Power studied the island’s wildlife, corresponding with top naturalists of the time and eventually writing two guides to Sicily. “Way ahead of her time,” Scales writes, “she came up with the idea of restocking overfished rivers with fish and crayfish.” And she documented tool use in Octopus vulgaris, describing how the animal could use stones to wedge open Pinna nobilis shells.
Her most significant cephalopod work was on Argonauta argo, the paper nautilus. Some scientists thought that this species must steal its shells from other animals, but Villepreux-Power showed through a series of experiments that the paper nautilus actually secretes its own shell material. That lets the creature add onto its shell as it grows and repair the shell if it breaks (or a scientist comes along and breaks off a piece). And to do these studies, Villepreux-Power first had to invent the modern aquarium.
Dr Susie Mitchell hears the story of the 19th Century Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell. Maxwell's lifelong curiosity about the world and his gift for solving complicated puzzles led him to a string of discoveries. He was the first person to demonstrate a way of taking colour photographs, and he used mathematics to work out what the rings of Saturn were made of before any telescope or spacecraft was able to observe them close up. His most important achievement however was the discovery of electromagnetism, as neatly described by four now famous lines of equations. His prediction of electromagnetic waves led on to a huge range of today’s technology, from mobile phones and wi-fi equipment to radio, X-rays and microwave ovens. Albert Einstein considered him a genius, and another scientist Heinrich Hertz described him as ‘Maestro Maxwell’.