Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ok, so maybe I'm having a moment here

While hydrating my membrane, I came across this article in the NY Times. For some reason, I was really touched by this:

It requires no metaphysical commitment to a God or any conception of human origin or nature to join in this game, just the hypothesis that nature can be interrogated and that nature is the final arbiter. Jews, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists and Hindus have all been working side by side building the Large Hadron Collider and its detectors these last few years.

And indeed there is no leader, no grand plan, for this hive. It is in many ways utopian anarchy, a virtual community that lives as much on the Internet and in airport coffee shops as in any one place or time.


I started to tear up in the middle of the lab. I have absolutely no excuse, except that wouldn't it be wonderful if this really was the way of Science?

4 comments:

Ambivalent Academic said...

That's beautiful.

And if it really was the way of science I would be the happiest girl on the planet.

I suspect that the author is romanticizing a bit - I'm sure it's not really all sunshine and unicorns over there...but the collider really is an incredible collaboration. With so many people involved it's a wonder it's come off at all.

Thanks for sharing that.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

"hydrating my membrane"

is that the kind of thing you want to admit to in public?

(sorry. Carry on).

ScienceGirl said...

Romanticized a bit, eh? But I suppose even an approximation to this is better than the alternatives.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

AA: Yeah, it's definitely romanticized. Still, I thought it's a prettier picture than what I usually end up seeing painted.

Cath: Well, it's true that I have a problem. And I think that it's a more wide spread problem than people would think. Only if we talk about it can we remove the stigma.

SG: Striving for this wouldn't be the worst thing in the world at least. :-)