Science, research and study are the foundations of progress, economic development and a healthier and more robust civilization.
MASA, "MAKE AMERICA SMART AGAIN," has never been needed more in our world, if you believe in education and science.
We are seeing an often older and more rigid, politically-minded group in America -- haters and deniers of science. Politicians and political ideologues decide to discredit the science from which powerful conclusions come, or bend the science to support their policy positions. When politicians or others determine to discredit science that disagrees with their political will or policy, they have created "policy-based evidence" instead of "evidence-based policy."
Policy-based evidence, instead of evidence-based policy: a perversion of truth and research.
A wave of radio and TV talk shows and blogs are promoting ideas that are in absolute denial of science, and promoting politicians who preach those ideas. It is amazing, but true. Some use blatant denial of science as justification for not taking steps toward a clean environment, or the elimination of toxins from our air and water, or toward safe food and water. They deny the science behind global warming even in light of massive changes in climate throughout the world. The result, as people in California, Florida, Texas, the Midwest and the Caribbean have learned in 2017-2018-2019, can be disaster. Californians learned how costly it is to ignore voices of science. The results there have been disastrous and deadly. Scientists for years have warned that the USA, for example, would suffer from higher temperatures, less rain and more drought. Scientists repeatedly have called for action. First the American West, and then the heartland farmers had the worst water shortages in decades after ignoring years of science warning about water issues. Farmers suffered first, then towns and cities as their lakes, rivers and water sources diminished. Then we saw the massive forest fires sweeping the West Coast, while floods and record breaking storms hit other parts of the nation-- all predicted by science and debunked by political leaders who denied science. Many in America were stunned when President Trump declared that every agency of the U.S. Government would cease publishing or announcing scientific studies or research to the American people -- an obvious result of the Trump crowd's fear of scientific research or conclusions. This is odd, because polls indicate that most Americans believe in science.
Science can be a tool for preservation, a tool to help people thrive, a tool for economic progress and world leadership.
Science, engineering and people with initiative to study and discover new technologies have helped make America the most affluent nation on earth. One study found that 11 percent of all new products and services came from educational institutions, teaching and research at our universities. The University of Pennsylvania sponsored a study by Dr. E. Mansfield that found that the rate of profitable return from new discoveries of science and education and later pursued by business was 28 percent for the business economy. It bolsters the concept that a strong economy is made stronger by education and science.
Consider just a few things science has brought us and is creating with huge financial and economic impacts:
1. Laser beams, tools, lighting, accuracy, controls, precision surgery -- now with thousands of applications in science, defense, industry and medicine.
2. High-speed computers have changed all of our lives.
3. Miniature communications, cell phones, wrist watch phones (what was once a "Dick Tracy" cartoon feature is now reality). You can actually speak into a phone on your wrist watch.
4. Explosion of new advances in television, music, optics, and low-cost communications that are free around the globe.
5. Bio-Medical discoveries that save lives and increase human productivity. MRIs, CAT scans, advanced imaging devices, robotic surgery. The list is endless.
6. The Mansfield Research policy, working with the University of Pennsylvania in 1991, studied 800 corporations and found that thousands of new products came from educational research, creating on average a 28 percent economic return. Education, science and research led to economic expansion! Eleven percent of all new business applications came from the discovery, research and study provided by universities.
7. Nano Technologies, miniaturization on a microscopic scale, enable a chip the size of a postage stamp to have the computer memory power equal to what was once computers taking up an entire city block.
8. New resins, advanced ceramics, new solids, carbon nanotubes, many in the process of development.
9. Genetic engineering allows prediction, sometimes treatment, sometimes cures, for human illnesses.
10. Artificial intelligence.
11. Self-driving cars.
12. Electrical conducting methods that do not require wires or chargers.
13. Within 10 years, 80 percent of automobiles could be solar powered, and within 20 years 60 percent of America's buildings could be
solar- or wind-powered.
14. Unlimited data storage.
15. Drones that can see aerial views instantly, use night vision to find accident victims, inspect and research buildings, historic sites and natural resources.
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and John Adams understood that a Democracy was empowered by an educated population, a society that promoted education, and yes, scientific research. They believed that we should "MAKE AMERICA SMARTER." They were right, and America zoomed to the top of the world in progress and prosperity. I BELIEVE WE SHOULD MAKE AMERICA SMART AGAIN. Therefore, I have a hat for you. Wear it, and I'll give you one for free, just pay for the postage (about $1.49). Write to: Ben Boothe at Make America Smart Again, 12409 San Francisco Av NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122. My hat is yours if you will wear it and encourage people to "MAKE AMERICA SMART AGAIN!" MASA, is my new effort to remind and encourage the importance of education and science in our culture. Send me a self-addressed, post paid envelope and the hat is yours for free if you will wear it!
We often wonder if the current breed of "science deniers" are influenced by big money from big business in industries doing things that might be detrimental to people, cities or public health. We are told that many industries can have higher profits if they do not have to consider science and education. But we at Boothe Global Perspectives believe that by spending a bit more money on products early we can prevent millions of deaths later and produce cleaner. better new technology. When "unsmart" big business leaders spew out toxins into our air, water, or environment, or distribute products that are carcinogenic or otherwise unhealthy, billions in health costs follow. Big business in many cases seems simply not to want the additional responsibility and expense of having to "do better." Government of late has been slashing food safety, water safety and air pollution monitoring rules, and this may make some "unsmart" businesses a quick profit, but in the long term it impacts our children, elderly, and you and I, by adding shorter life spans and higher illness rates.
Consider DNA and the research we have seen in the past three decades. We know more about human DNA than ever before in history. We can spot DNA patterns that can have huge impacts on informing people on health and mortality issues. Yet there are those that simply do not want this science to progress out of "fear" of cost, liability, superstition and other issues. I believe one of the reasons is that DNA can often predict the health and mortality dangers brought about by abuses of toxins in our environment.
When an industry booms, it can have positive benefits or dangers. Imagine a new auto manufacturing plant. It can create, automobiles that run quietly and cleanly, or create a company that will bring more toxins, more danger to people. The positive decisions come if we the people let all know that we want to Make America Smart Again, and consider the intelligent and right decisions for our business and industry.
The refrain in business is often, "Make hay while the sun shines," and often the few inspectors or regulators are overwhelmed by momentum. Science and education warns us, informs us, and points out solutions. But implementation of "doing things better" often lowers initial profits. All to often, big business goes first for profits, and human health and safety are afterthoughts. But from time to time, we see a few "bright lights" at the top of the corporate world who believe that spending a bit more time and research, and taking advantage of new safety methods designed by science, may cost more in the short run, but the benefits of a healthier and more productive society far outweigh the cost. Thus we see cities, states and industries that announce the amazing progress in science that will help create a better world to live and work in.
It is refreshing when we see, from time to time, a big oil company or a large manufacturing company, for example, take steps to lower the toxins their work produces. Those are people of "social responsibility." I call them heroes for humanity. The exceptional ones do not deny science, they embrace it and bring progress. They create educational and research opportunities. It is those people who counter some of the negatives of the ones who would go backward into pre-science caves.
When we consider science and the impacts it has on industry and development, it is almost overwhelming.
Science, technology and research are the most powerful economic foundation builders that a nation can have. Science results from good education and young leaders well-trained in research who love the process of discovery and how it can serve mankind. There is often a new world, a new perspective in the view of microscopes. Now we have telescopes and microscopes that are hundreds of times more powerful than just years ago, and we are discovering new solutions for mankind every year. There are young people devoted to new energy sources, people devoted to defeating cancer, and scientists devoted to making the lives of the sick and elderly better. Science devoted to making business better and more sustainable contributes to better lives and economies.
A generation of self-appointed business pundits and politicians are extolling the idea to deny science, ignore experts on climate, air quality, water quality, food safety, and ignore predictions of drought, extreme weather events and even global impacts on atmosphere and inner space. These loud people with blinders on want to discredit science, but in doing so they restrain the scientific elements of our society that bring progress, hope, growth, prosperity and health. They, like backward people throughout history, threaten the foundations of economic growth, technical progress and intelligent industrial renewal.
Recall Hitler and the witch hunters of history who burned books, and sometimes people. They attacked a free press and shunned open and clear research and thinking. Caligula, the dark emperor of the Roman Empire, exemplified the worst kind of man with blinders and obsessions. He killed political foes, destroyed reputations, murdered or shunned senators who opposed him. His inner circle became a circular pattern of death as he relentlessly "fired" and often executed his closest advisors. Working for Caligula became a threat to life. He spent recklessly on personal whims while driving that nation into a backward direction that eventually led to the financial ruin of the Roman Empire. History is replete with examples of people with obsessive "blinders."
A review of world history of the last two centuries illustrates how political regimes change names, destroy buildings, change even street signs, while they destroy temples of worship, destroy research to alter facts to their preferred perception of truth. The target in the United States seems to be to attack, even erase the credibility of science, technology and scientific truth. Ironically, science is based upon the premise of discovery, fact and reality with intense scrutiny. Science does not cater to personal whims, political ideologies or religious dogma. Science considers evidence, logic and intellectual honesty its highest goals.
I invite you to believe our nation is a great and wonderful land. The brilliance of the USA has been that it has not allowed science to be held back by politics or religious influence. There is nothing wrong with America becoming greater. One basic and essential way we can be "greater" is to "Make American Smart Again." The very foundations of America’s prosperity, growth and leadership around the world are at risk by ill-conceived bashing of education for our kids, science and high technology. This bashing seems to cater to "more ignorance" and denial of objective fact. These people, with "obsessive blinders" tend to fight science, technology and innovation.
It seems, as with the rich and powerful leaders of the Dark Ages, some wish to dumb down the masses in America. They seek to appeal to the less-educated or troubled people, often those who follow the rich and powerful science bashers and ill-educated business executives.
Franklin, Jefferson, Einstein, Carnegie, Ford, Edison, Bacon, Galileo and Newton must be turning over in their graves at the attacks on education, science and technology. Federal budgets for the departments of education and departments that promote science and progress have been slashed.
MASA is our new motto. Make America Smart Again.
My vote, and I hope yours, is to encourage science, education, research, logic and objective truth, to encourage in-depth research and discovery. We must re-establish and renew confidence in facts and truth-finding, and then have the imagination to use these tools to create more and more ways to enhance the quality of life. Perhaps the "no science" people should consider the lives of frontier Americans, their ancestors, who lived in log homes with dirt floors, no electricity nor running water. Light came from wood-burning fires or later simple lanterns that burned whale oil. No radio. No telephone. No television. No internet. No antibiotics. No motorized vehicles. No airplanes. Can you imaging going backward to a time without the benefits of science and progressive technology?
Wear the hat. I wear one, and people look at it, and look again, and often smile and say, "right on." So I print them and give them away at no profit. I want you to join me and wear one. You order it, and send me enough to pay the postage to get it to you and the hat is free. I think $1.49 will pay for postage and an envelope to almost everywhere in the USA. I will send them out free of charge as long as you wear one and pay the postage...as long as they last!
Yet many politicians and wealthy businessmen seem to be embracing a philosophy, like the book burners of old, of "fear knowledge, fight science."
The Catholic church and religious leaders waged war against the growing ideas of scientific thought in the 1500-1700's. The "Dark Ages" were a time when science and objective research were labeled as evil, and the world went stagnant. Then, only a few kings and religious leaders had access to discovery, science and research, and that was because they "bought" and kept men of knowledge in their castles and temple compounds. It was popular then and later for religious leaders to attack science. Roger Bacon, a scientist who was imprisoned in 1279, died in a Catholic Church prison. In 1553, Michel Servetus, a writer on science and astronomy was put to death by religious leaders. Giordano Bruno, mathematician and astronomer, was burned at the stake by Catholic leaders. Galileo, astronomer, physicist and engineer, is called the father of modern physics and the father of the scientific method. The Catholic Church convicted him of heresy for stating that planets revolve around the sun, and he was put under house arrest in 1616. Some of the world's greatest thinkers were executed by religious and political leaders. The church lost that battle as the truth of "light" and discovery, technology and science triumphed. Only when religious leaders stopped attacking science did the church begin to reform and appeal to the youth of the 20th Century.
"Teach your children well," the song says. Let us continue to expand the potential of our world and endorse, support and encourage science. And perhaps we should elect more educated political leaders, those who have their eyes on progress, not those who want to go back to the primitive thinking that we fortunately have grown out of in the most recent century.
MASA -- Write me, Ben Boothe, Boothe and Associates, 12409 San Francisco Av NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and request a hat. Send enough for postage or send a self-addressed, postage paid envelope and I will stuff in the hat and mail it to you at no cost. MASA!