• Question: scientists have devoted their lifes to the well being of the world and people. they say necicesety is the mother of all inventions what do you have that we want. something that will improve our everyday lives is it really worth it?

    Asked by adityaking to Jemma, John, Lisa, Sam, Mus, Martin on 29 May 2012. This question was also asked by wolf1231.
    • Photo: Jemma Ransom

      Jemma Ransom answered on 29 May 2012:

      Hi @adityaking, this is certainly a lofty question!

      Although I think I’ll begin by disagreeing with you if I may. I don’t think that scientists go to work everyday expecting to enhance the wellbeing of the world. For most of us, the sum total of our careers is contributing a tiny piece of knowledge to science rather than making huge breakthroughs that you hear about in the media. Therefore, the reason I go to work in the morning is because I really enjoy what I do, and that makes any inconvenience or sacrifice worth while.

      Hope that answers your question

    • Photo: John Perry

      John Perry answered on 29 May 2012:

      Hi @adityaking,

      I’m with Jemma on this one. Science is about the progression of knowledge. Groundbreaking is a term very rarely used. We have an amount of knowledge on a subject and as we work, we gradually, together, just nudge the boundaries of this knowledge a little further out.

      It’s a bit similar to my £5 per month donation to Oxfam. It’s hardly going to feed the starving masses but it’s a small contribution and my small contribution over many years, added to the (often bigger) contribution of others over many years, will very gradually move us forward.

      Great to see a philosophical outlook on science!