Monday, October 10, 2011
Cancel Columbus Day...or make it something better...
How about celebrating a true moment of national exploration? One that changed everyone's perception of the planet? It seems to me that if this country values science and technology as an accomplishment of the human spirit; conquering disease, improving standards of living, and journeying where no one has gone before, then we should have a day that celebrates our nation's greatest scientific adventure. My thought is that we should set aside the day we landed on the moon in 1969. Our country set a communal goal with JFK's speech at the beginning of his presidency, and against huge odds we succeeded. Admittedly, the race to the moon involved trying to outdo the USSR, but I doubt that fighting communism was the foremost thought of the scientists and engineers who got us onto our planetary neighbor. And the effort resulted in vast advances in science across many fronts (not the least of which was geology).
I don't care much for Columbus. We should be celebrating something truly meaningful, and I think science should have such a day. What do you think?