Science can be defined as the process of systematically studying something – and conducting experiments where required – to draw a certain conclusion and falsify others. Adhering to this is important because it bypasses human weakness such as relying on biases and hunches to give an objective and empirical view of reality.
That what “feels right” cannot be relied upon can be illustrated by considering the theory of relativity. The notion that time can be affected by such things as gravity and position seems intuitively wrong and to go against common sense. Yet, the availability of precise location through the Global Positioning System (GPS) on our phones and electronics – on which so many modern industries depend – is deeply indebted to the arcane theory of relativity. Your car showing you how to go to the airport from where you are is only possible by compensating for the time distortion, as predicted by the arcane theory of relativity.
On the other hand, things which may feel intuitively right such as the earth is flat, or that the sun moves around the earth may be deeply wrong. Science, therefore, is an attempt to take us close or perceive objective reality as closely as possible.
The contemporary image of the scientist is that of a nerdy, socially-awkward person hacking away at strange instruments and computers, working on the esoteric problem far removed from the practical cares of daily life. This image is damaging- as it keeps us from considering science as another readily available tool to tackle immediate challenges. Science and the scientist should be rehabilitated to a central position in society so that we may accessibly employ its power to help us.
Everyone will, at times, act and think like a scientist. The farmer experiments with crop and fertilizers to see which one is most suited for their farm, the college goer with how many bottles of beer will get them comfortably drunk, and how many will give them a terrible headache the next day; another person will try out various brands and varieties shampoos to figure out the one most suited to their hair type.
Crowdfunding science will help fund projects which will be of practical value to you, but which are not currently being investigated into. It will help you find other people who are interested in the same issues or projects as you, and pool in money to fund its study. The projects need not merely be restricted to ones which have practical applications and can help satisfy intellectual curiosities too. For instance, a group of amateur naturalists can fund the study of how the changing ecology of their city is affecting a particular butterfly.
|– Harshith Aranya (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated— Rosalind Franklin