Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

People interested in science

  1. Apr 13, 2014 #1
    I was watching Neil De grasse Tyson, and he said the developed countries have an obligation to push the boundaries of science and space exploration. I was thinking do people that have an interest in science have a moral obligation to do science research and make the world a better place, what does everyone think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I personally believe it is my freedom to decide what to do with my interests. I do like to see the world in a better place but I want to contribute because I want to, not because I have to.
  4. Apr 13, 2014 #3
    My life, my decision whether I was an astronomer or physicist or whatever the hell. Space exploration is sci-fi to me, it's cool to see it being done, however, should we expect any practical outcome of it? I don't know, I don't care. First, get our s* sorted out here on god's green earth, then see what's out there, maybe.

    Anyway, the speed of light cannot be reached or broken by any super ship no matter how powerful. Even IF somehow, through some miracle - what is the point? Would take 4 years still to reach the closest star system to ours (assuming we reach the speed of light instantenously with infinite acceleration) . Information feedback still is limited to the speed of light, means another 4 years to find out that what we discovered is a planet made of rock...greaat. Meanwhile, back on the Earth..
  5. Apr 13, 2014 #4

    jim hardy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Trouble with that line of thought is it'll tempt somebody to appoint himself in charge of what other people should be doing.. and the people to whom THAT idea appeals are the least qualified to do it..

  6. Apr 13, 2014 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What EXACTLY did he say? I really like Tyson, but I despise people who feel the need to tell others what they should do so I'd be interested in hearing how he phrased this.
  7. Apr 13, 2014 #6
    Individuals should be free to pursue anything they choose in life. I do feel that developed countries have a duty to fund scientific research and considering how important science is I think its a massively underfunded area. I'm pretty sure this is also the point that Tyson would of been making. OP do you have a link if otherwise?
  8. Apr 13, 2014 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    If all people with an interest in science had an obligation to do scientific research, I think the world definitely would not be a better place. For example, who would be doctors or engineers if all those interested in science were doing research? The point is that nearly all fields could benefit from having people with an interest in science, not just those fields involving research. We already have this problem in some fields today. For example, very few in the US congress have any training in the sciences, which is troublesome considering that they're in charge of funding most of the research that goes on in the US.
  9. Apr 13, 2014 #8
    The nice thing about relativity is that you can get to the closest star system as fast as you like (except instantaneous). So if you want to get there in one second (and have the necessary fuel, and somehow survive the acceleration involved), then you can :tongue:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  10. Apr 13, 2014 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Correct. We need some research into a way to stop this. :rolleyes:

    However if these people have the resources (money), they can make ideas happen with enough time; IMO. What to do?
  11. Apr 13, 2014 #10
    How do you figure? As far as I know, the whole point of relativity is that we cannot travel faster than the speed of light.
  12. Apr 13, 2014 #11
    Yep, that too!
  13. Apr 13, 2014 #12
  14. Apr 13, 2014 #13
    you are forgetting time dilation, if I travel very close to c, my clock will slow way down. it wont take me 4 years to get to the nearest star, but way much less if I can travel fast. if we could travel at c which we cant no time would elapse.
    Im not saying I am telling people what to do with their lives.
    But lets say someone was dying out in the middle of a forest and doctor was walking by and could save his life, shouldn't he try to save his life, or should he say well I didn't feel like doing it I was on a hike. Maybe thats an extreme example,
    Tyson talked about developed countries doing research in one of his penny for NASA talks I would have to look back on youtbue to find the talk. Tyson also talked about how space exploration would cause us to dream again and get people motivated and could lead to new inventions and science developments. I think people should have to opportunity to do what they want, so maybe we should have more funding for science and education in general so people can pursue what they want.
  15. Apr 13, 2014 #14
    I thought he was talking about earth-time, hence the confusion.

    Really, though, how strange would it be to travel that fast and then return to Earth to find that it no longer existed? :(
  16. Apr 13, 2014 #15
    Most of us travel at most at 150 km/h-200km/h on freeways, time dilation doesn't quite help. The ones on the ship, it's weird, the formula for time dilation says it's the "actual time elapsed" over 0 if v = c, so the time passed is immeasurable.
  17. Apr 13, 2014 #16
    That's hardly close to the speed of light, is it?? (with respect to an observer who doesn't travel in his car)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook