“There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson
One of the most enjoyable videos that I’ve seen is watching is Stephen Colbert interviewing Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s a delightful romp through the mind of one of our most engaging scientists.
At one point, Colbert asks Dr. deGrasse Tyson about discoveries that have changed our point of view about the universe without us being aware of it. While he doesn’t actually answer Stephen’s question, Neil relates the incredible impact of what many today would classify as useless theoretical discovery that is little more than scientific masturbation: quantum mechanics. While the science was almost totally useless in the 1920s, it’s the foundation of our computer/smartphone/technological age.
His lesson: don’t believe that research is useless … because it isn’t.
Click here for that conversation but really watch the whole thing!