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In recent years it seems that importance of science has declined in the past couple of years. However its necessity in growing the economy and finding new solutions to old problems and dilemnas remain the same. However history is now entering a period where the great discoveries mostly cannot be made with out some sort of financial backing for the equipment and research time. This means that there is a real chance for major nations losing ground in the sciences if they do not make the conscientious effort to invest in research and development. President Obama made a telling point in saying that innovation was the key to “winning the future.” In an increasingly competitive global market it is the country that can harness innovation and technology that will be the most successful economically. Basical labor is something that can gain value one day and lose it the next but the possibilites and new markets created by science and invention are eternal.
So what are areas where science is important? The first is in everyday human life. Thanks to advances in the biomedical fields there are fewer infectious or lethal disease than ever before. Some illnesses that would be death sentences even just twenty years ago with advanced research into the study of bacteria and viruses are now becoming manageable and in some cases have even eradicated. People are now living longer as we understand more about aging and the nutrients need to keep the body healthy and active long into our sunset years.
Another great area where science is proving itself is industry. In industry new materials are being discovered everyday that will help technology make huge leaps. New allotropes of carbon are being discovered like graphene and carbon nanotubes that could make feats like space elevators or even faster microchips a reality.
We’ve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast all about the Scientific Methods. Listen here, Episode 90: The Scientific Method.