The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 11 October 2018(clone) - Page 13

The Centrepiece Lecture/Speech : β€œThe World Explored, the World Suffered:The Exeter Lectures β€œThank you Mr. Chairman. Ladies and Gentlemen. How does man relate to the world? What is man that he is capable of posing a further question for every answer he gives himself ? Why is the mind of man so restless? Thanks to science we know why the sea is restless. Indeed the behavior of all the other elements, earth, air, and fire have also been captured in our observations and equations. Science in this very restless century has explored the outer regions of the heavens and the inner structures of the smallest particles in the Universe: particles that are invisible to the human eye. However, in a series of operations reminiscent of the unpacking of a sequence of imbedded Russian dolls, it looks to me as if an inevitable limit has been encountered even for the eye equipped with various forms of microscopes and telescopes. If this is true, does this signal that we have come to a resting point in Science especially insofar as the exploration of the Natural physical world is concerned? Are we detecting a winding down of the activity that occupied the geniuses of Einstein and Bohr? Have the microscopes being packed and moved off to other kinds of laboratories for the study of other kinds of things? Will we now be eagerly awaiting the results from clinical laboratories whose experiments save lives? The Frontiers of Science may have been moved to Chemistry, Biology, Medicine and the Human Genome, but the methodology is the same. Penetrate the phenomenon, reduce it to its smallest components and measure these in a myriad of ways. What will the result of all this activity be, ladies and gentlemen? Will we find a gene that explains my tendency to eat porridge in the mornings or will I read a book one day that tells me that it has now been established that mankind uses all his genes in his choice and eating of porridge? Dr. Sutton in his lecture last year attempted to map out the transformations in our intellectual landscape brought about by Science. He reviewed the developments of science in this century and arrived at the conclusion that though we have only completed 70 years of the cycle, this century may well come to be known by historians as A Science major raised their hand and asked: β€œBut surely has not science shown time and again that reducing a whole to its parts and examining the functioning of those parts is the road to discovering important things about the whole. 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