We all know, it all began with The Big Bang. Our ancestors, like the first ones, struck two stones together and ensued was a spark. They rolled out a trunk and made a wheel. They tamed deadly diseases. They made bridges. The scraped through skies. Our scientific and technological advancements and discoveries have always enticed us.
We see big, but if we look closely, there is a trail of destruction. As Newton states his 3rd law of motion, “every action, has an equal an opposite reaction.” Law of motion or not, it references almost everywhere, one can’t expect the future to be quite bright, there’ll be darkness too.
The reality: our planet is in “dire straits”, meaning a very bad situation which is difficult to fix.
Science helps us define and explain transformations, it is a study of transformations. Science transforms our lives, it has, and it will continue.
There’s a story of Einstein running after a beam of light. There’s a story of Kekule seeing in his mind’s eye two snakes joined together mouth-to-tail. There’s a story of geodesic domes influencing nano-science. The takeaways from these stories: the theory of relativity, the structure of benzene, and the naming of fullerenes, respectively.
There’s a joy in storytelling, and our ancestors knew that, and passed onto us as part of their legacy, stories they hoped would sustain us. With time, their stories mutated into a game of Chinese Whispers. That’s the inherit peril of stories. But when done right, stories build hope, construct realities, and most importantly, help us seek meaning.
“The future has an ancient heart”, that;s Italo Calvino. That sentence portrays with conviction and beauty a certain permeability. Permeability that enables connections. Connections that are seamless link us with who we most fundamentally are. They are perfect conduits that link us with our truest selves. These connections are essential and they are not easy. To give rise to these connections, we cannot rest content with received stories, but must tell new stories as they unfold.
We need to tell the story of Cherrapunjee, the Indian town which was once the world’s wettest place. Deforestation and global warming have now stripped the town of it’s honour. We need to tell the story of carcinogens and other adulterants that are unscrupulously added to food products.We need to tell the story of the local college, that plants a hundred saplings in it;s centennial year.And we need to tell the story of the small voice within that doesn’t tire of campaigning for waste management and efficient use of resources.
Stories work slowly, they don’t need to dazle ren’t supernovae. We need stories that celebrate science, and we need narratives that reach the most ancient parts of our hearts. We need stories of science that tell the truth, and we need them to tell it straight. Sometimes with stories an unimaginable grace is possible. And we can only hope that this grace extends into the inventions and discoveries and advancements in the laboratories to save this planet and ours from ourselves.