Presenter: Brian Greene, Co-Founder and Chairman of the World Science Festival By using examples in Big Science and Quantum Physics, Brian Greene explains how advanced sciences can help create the future of life and modern society. Greene emphasizes a supportive environment is an environment where science and innovation thrive. He does this by first delving into why man has forever been intrigued by the sciences. Greene comes to the ultimate conclusion that humans are innately drawn to explore and understand our surroundings simply for their intrinsic interest. People and their governments all over the world converge in their shared desire to uncover these basic fundamentals of science and the natural world we share. This common interest stands as a model of international cooperation. Collaboration does not need to result in economic reward. Greene centers his discussion on two main points delineating the relationship between science and governments: collaboration shows this basic drive of mankind to discover and collaboration can be incredibly powerful in promoting this childlike curiosity that often become dormant in adulthood. Science not only shapes future governments to peacefully work toward a tremendous goal, but also fosters a society stimulated by discovery and creative innovation. Key Takeaways “We have this deep yearning to understand the universe. We are not at all willing to accept that the world is as it is.” –Brian Greene International collaborations are a model for global conversation. International collaboration is not just to create the next technological disruption. Greene first explains “Big Science” or “Breakthrough Science” as a clear example of the interplay between science and government. Gravitational waves sparked government involvement. After decades of study, theory, experimentation, and research, scientists have finally proven Einstein’s theory of gravitational ripples and waves. The detectors used to record the shifts in gravity have since been produced all over the world as other countries communicate with each other to study the original findings and invest in their own facilities and research. This international collaboration was not self-motivated. The purpose of this continued experimentation and study is not for the purpose of some new gadget or technological advancement but purely for the purpose of understanding the universe. Greene added that this science may not have been established for economic reasons but ultimately, scientific discovery lead to it. Seeking fundamental understanding has spurred continued government involvement in science. Greene continues his explanations with a brief analysis of quantum physics, the study of how particles behave. In Switzerland, a machine was created with the help of various other international contributors to study how particles react after being smashed together at the speed of light. Governments play a crucial role in shifting society’s perspective on the purpose of science. Science may not have been put forward for economic application but ultimately lead to it. This is why governments should refocus their attention on the culture of investment in innovation. Greene urges governments all over the world to support big science and the culture of discovery for the sake of bettering all humanity. Science should extend far out of classrooms. The World Science Festival, cofounded by Brian Greene himself, has catalyzed many other movements to encourage governments to enhance education, thus shifting society’s perspective of science’s purpose. Ultimately, this culture of discovery is the engine driving innovation. When governments collaborate, we become more aware of science in our daily lives and global conversation is established and maintained. “The Culture of Discovery is ultimately the engine driving innovation.” –Brian Greene Editor’s Note: The preceding is an essay from a special print report produced by Diplomatic Courier after the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE. To read the full report download our free app on your device or view the digital edition here.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.