Science and Art

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I came across this line in the Guardian Weekly today, and felt moved to share it:

“The theory of general relativity is the scientific equivalent of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.”

That was attributed to Dr Pedro Ferreira, who’s Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford, so he probably knows what he’s talking about.

Science and Technology: How They Advance

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My old friend Ron Allan sent me the following link to an interesting article:

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-evolution-of-technology/

The writer, Viscount Ridley, points out that many scientific and technological advances were made by several people, even though we recognise only one.  Darwin comes to mind, and last night Mrs SG and I watched a dramatised documentary (‘Genius’) which presented the perfection of television as a duel between the youthful Philo Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin, working for the aggressively entrepreneurial David Sarnoff of RCA.  But I was always taught that TV was invented by John Logie Baird, and Wikipedia lists a regiment of others.

Viscount Ridley goes on to argue that public investment in basic science is largely wasted and it should be left to the private sector.  I’m not sure I agree with that, but please read the article and let me know what you think.

The Martian

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Last weekend Mrs SG and I went to see a new file: ‘The Martian’, starring Matt Damon. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do.  It’s about an astronaut who’s left for dead on Mars but is in fact alive.  I won’t say any more.

People who should know say that the science in the film (and in the original book) is very accurate. That’s not to say that everything on-screen is probable, but at least it’s possible.  A critic pointed out that the film is remarkable for two absences – there’s no romance and there’s no villain.

While we’re on the subject of science fiction I will take the opportunity to plug my own opus, which will be available as an e-book as soon as the proof-reading and formatting are finished. It’s the Eeks Trilogy and the first book is called ‘Eeks’.  Please look out for it at your favourite e-book retailer’s website.