How Advanced Will Technology be in 2050?

Feb 8, 2013

Solving cancer, energy, and other pressing issues

Throughout
elementary and middle school, I was captivated by my science classes, eager to
understand the complex mechanisms of the world surrounding me.  Scientific principles led me to be
rational and to question everything.  I embraced the fact that there
is much I do not know and was in turn excited to explore the universe. 

As I moved on to high
school, I found that there is still much that science does not know.  Day in and day out, researchers continue to
push the boundaries of the quantum and galactic levels. 

Humanity is still so
young.  We cannot even conceive how
technology will change our species over the next million years – a melancholy
thought for those, like me, who want to be there to experience it. 

I was instantly drawn
into the scientific community by its commitment to truth, rich history, and
open-mindedness.  However, by surrounding
myself with the scientifically-minded, I found myself bubbled-in.  I was blind to a different view of science –
one that often did not understand it and was sometimes frightened by it.  Not everyone saw science the way I did, a
vital undertaking that has brought us the comforts of the 21st
century.  Science was not receiving the
support I knew it deserved. 

In fact, some even sought
to replace science in science classrooms and succeeded.  I was unaware that my state legislators had
been passing backwards legislation that was crippling the education of students
who will one day take on the responsibilities of our future.

During my senior year at
Baton Rouge Magnet High School a close friend, Zack Kopplin, pulled me into the
fight against creationists in Louisiana.  I testified before the Louisiana
Senate Education Committee, illustrating how the misnamed Louisiana Science
Education Act, our state’s Orwellian creationism law, would stifle future
innovation in Louisiana and my fellow students’ future.

Louisiana legislators
continue to stubbornly uphold this creationism law.  I watched shocked as
creationists rambled incoherently about how evolution was “made up” and was helpless as our
elected officials, who were supposed to help our students, attacked them instead.  As
our fight progressed in Louisiana, the battle ground expanded.  Tennessee
passed a creationism law.  My new home, Texas, is trying to throw out
evolution.  Simultaneously, voucher programs continue to bring public
money into creationist schools across the country.  

We will continue to fight
science denial in America, but we also must look forward.  Science needs a
larger presence in the political dialogue and in the minds of the public. 
Reaching back to humanity’s crowning achievement, we must have a Second Giant
Leap for Mankind.

Science and technology is
what drives America – and humanity – forward. 
Our near future holds some serious issues that have the potential to
drastically affect the story of the human race.  Cardiovascular disease,
cancer, and AIDS continue to take the lives of hundreds of thousands of people
every year.  Even after so many years, fossil fuels are still our primary
energy source.  Climate change maintains its threat to ecological
stability, and we are still not prepared for future asteroids that may threaten our
very existence.

In this technological
age, science cannot be ignored.  The internet has given us unprecedented
global communication, exponentially accelerating the development of our
exciting future.  However, public involvement is necessary for the
infrastructure revolution that needs to take place.  Too many unnecessary
deaths can be avoided if we automate
vehicles
;
imagine a world without drivers.  Evacuated Tube Transportation (ETT)
technology
offers
a modern solution to transportation that would send passengers from New York to
Beijing in two hours for a fraction of the cost of a plane ticket.  

But none of this can be
possible without the public support of science and a change in the politics of science
and science funding.  A member of the U.S. House of Representatives
Science Committee recently called evolution “embryology” and the Big Bang
theory “lies straight from the pit of hell.”  But he’s not just
one bad egg.  The former Chairman of this same science committee claimed
that the evidence supporting climate change is only a conspiracy to garner more
funding for science.  These Congressmen introduce legislation that
threatens our invaluable intellectual resources.  How can the U.S. attempt
to continue to be leader in this more progressive world?  

We need to tap into our
scientific resources, not stifle them with outdated thinking.  We need to
be a leader in the international evolution into the modern world.  

So call your
Congressman.  Send a letter.  Show up at his or her door.  Be
loud.  Science has brought us social networking; use it to demand a
contemporary world and nation that is long overdue.  This is the most
promising time for our advancement in science so give it a new voice. 
Remember our past success, and call on America for a Second Giant Leap for
Mankind.

Written By: Ben Simpson
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