Don’t Blame Scientists!
Nate Lewis: I think that there is more of a perception problem in this particular instance than a real systemic problem. First of all, in energy technology as opposed to studying fundamental observations like the issue of, did the climate researchers not release all the data that they might have otherwise have wanted to release into the public, or should have released? That doesn’t really affect whether or not the earth is getting warmer or not. Of course it is getting warmer. And of course glaciers are melting. You can’t hide the fact that glaciers are all melting all over our planet regardless of whether or not you did or didn’t release one data point here or there. It doesn’t change anything that anybody with two eyes open can’t see.
At the same time, in energy technology, you can’t hide it if it works or not, because either this device saves energy and people buy it and find it out, or it doesn’t. Either your car gets more miles per gallon on the showroom than the next one, or it doesn’t. Either the solar farm makes electricity, or it doesn’t. It’s pretty hard to say that you’re eliminating or slowing down the rate of progress in this area because you’re concealing the fact that you can really do a lot of good things with clean, cheap energy that you didn’t’ tell anybody about. So, I don’t think it’s really an issue in that part of this problem.
In energy technology, it's clear if your invention works or not. Either the device saves energy and people buy it and find out, or it doesn’t.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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