Do i fear about the future? Yes, of course. But i do not fear what it seems most people are fearing. One of those cases is science. Most people fear that science might pull a Frankenstein, creating monsters by mistake while trying to create beauty. I do think science is on the right track to stop creating monsters and that really worries me!
Example: talking about Darwin, Olivia Judson (that most desirable of females) says that “(h)is brand of science — 20 years of thinking about a problem before publishing — could not be done today.”
She is so right, but she does not acknowledge how terrible this is. The fact that science is, today, not measured by the quality of ideas but by their quantity, not by the power to explain but by the business potential of patents, simply means that science is dead.
We have technology — a means to create comfort and reducing risk — but we do not have science — a path for developing the full potential of being human, a quest to understand and gaze at the infinite with wonder.
Science is not meant to be productive. It is not meant as a race to publish the most papers you can. Science should not be measured by the fat in the Curricula.
Darwin was a particularly crazy fella, with that compulsive thing for classifying beasts, and certainly keeping an idea inside the head for decades is a bad strategy (and even he knew that, as he wrote preliminary manuscripts “in case something happened to him before publication”), but the sense of intellectual quest should be maintained, we desperately need this. Without it, science turns into book-keeping.