Investing in science pays off thousands of times


I had a short talk a couple of months ago, on June 21st 2015, in Brașov, Romania, about science and secular humanism. I argued that science gave us mobile phones and television and some kids from the last line started laughing: “how could science give us TVs”?

Well, how could it? Did you know that older CRT TVs, or tube TVs as they are called, are using an electronic cannon? It is not sci-fi, as I’m talking about the hot cathode which generates electrons because passing currents through it make it get so hot that it releases electrons inside the tube.

The science that goes in a simple CRT display is incredible and it is almost 100 years old, since the first CRT TV set was released in the 1920s.

In the video from above you can see that the MIT has created technologies in the 80s that we use now on a current basis, like touch screens, e-ink, GPS. And the science work paid off as there are billion dollar industries which use that tech today.

And why is science so powerful? I’ll let Vsauce answer that. I’m just adding here that science’s power relies on out endless curiosity and on our power to work on abstract problems which do not seem to have a practical meaning. But there is a goal to all this:

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