NASA researchers recently announced that life beyond our planet will be discovered in the next twenty years. Bill Nye, everyone’s favorite “Science Guy,” an educator, scientist, and the CEO of The Planetary Society, an organization that promotes space exploration, stopped by Big Think’s studio to discuss how this will change the world. The last time Nye visited us, he provided a disturbing assessment of the damaging belief of creationism, a movement he calls unique to the United States. Now he’s back with a request to the American public: let’s all contribute the price of a cup of coffee to continue the search for life.
Nye wants the search to target Europa, one of the 63 known moons of Jupiter. It's believed to have around twice as much sea water as Earth. The salt water geysers of Europa also indicate that it has the ingredients for life. Nye is convinced that that’s where we’ll first discover our cosmic neighbors, and it’s up to each of us to make it happen, as he explains:
"It would change the world for a price of a cup of coffee and wait, there's more. It wouldn't be the work of a guy like Galileo or Copernicus or Kepler, these are famous names in astronomy, or Isaac Newton or Einstein. It would be the work of all of us. It would be the work of all of us taxpayers and citizens of the earth who participate in this. Now it might be U.S. taxpayers nominally, but guarantee you the European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, almost certainly the Indian Space Research Organization, the Roscosmos, everybody would have a small part on this mission. Everybody would be involved. And if we were to find evidence of life it would change the world. Change the world."
The discovery would certainly unite the world. Until a NASA explorer docks on Europa, you can tour the cosmos and learn about the latest initiatives in the search for E.T. on the website of The Planetary Society.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
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