Science has created some pretty great stuff over the years. Shona Curvers looks at science's role in our everyday lives and how nerds have had the right idea all along.
It may have even saved your life at some point without you knowing it.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why there is a stereotype that proclaims that nerds and science aren’t cool. For some reason, when I say the word ‘science’, an overwhelming number of people picture an overflowing beaker and a Bunsen burner. They imagine white coats, protective eye-wear and exploding experiments. What many people seem to have forgotten is that the most excellent thing about science is that it doesn’t fit neatly into a box, especially not a box that is so rigid and bland. This week is National Science week and I think it’s important we get our facts straight. Let me explain myself.
How does science fit into your life?
Allow me to begin by asking you a relatively simple question: What did you have for breakfast this morning? Perhaps you heated up some porridge in a microwave? Did you accompany your food with a cup of tea, made with the help of an electric kettle? Or maybe you put a piece of bread in your toaster and it came out a piece of toast. Magic? Nope, just science. A lot of the time scientific inventions are right in front of us and we take them for granted. Science is not just for nerds, it’s for everyone and it’s everywhere. Science is less about beakers and measuring cylinders, and more about revolutionary ideas that have altered the way we live, almost always for the better.
Science is kind of a big deal
Let’s have a closer look at just a couple of science’s greatest achievements: One invention that wouldn’t have been possible without scientific knowledge and progress is technology. I have a challenge for you: next time you leave the house for the day, leave your smartphone at home. You will have no access to mobile banking, no on-the-spot google searches and you better hope you don’t get lost as you won’t have google maps at the touch of a button to lead you to your destination.
Then there’s medical science in all its glory. Penicillin would have to be one of the most earth-shattering inventions that has ever been made. It’s a fascinating group of antibiotics that is used to cure a whole range of different illnesses, and it may have even saved your life at some point without you knowing it. I know it’s saved mine.
And what about glowsticks? Won’t somebody please think of the glowsticks?
Nerds have got it goin' on
As far as I’m concerned, if nerds are globally recognised as the forefathers of science, then nerds are some of the coolest people going round. But the reality is that science belongs to all of us. It has opened doors all over the place and enabled us to do things that we previously thought to be completely outrageous and impossible. Who knows what scientific developments we’re going to see moving into the future? All I know is that science has brought me laser tag and velcro, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.