Richard Acton

About Richard

Languages

English

An idea worth spreading

This is not really achievable given our current understanding and ability to control biological systems but: engineering a protein which synthesizes and extrudes from a cell continuous lengths of carbon nano-tube.

I'm passionate about

Science, not just scientific information but the philosophy of Science; and tied in with that the abolition of Religion, particularly religious Schools.

Talk to me about

just about anything related to science and education.

Comments & conversations

128299
Richard Acton
Posted almost 4 years ago
What facts are factual?
As a student of Science when I think about facts and truths I do not consider them absolutes, isolated and untouchable, but as temporal and changing. granted there are some things which are pretty incontrovertible but most 'facts' are open to alternative interpretation. the entire history of science (our best system for understanding the world) is that of revision of ideas that where often thought of as facts to bring them into line with new observations. I conjecture much of the difficulty that arises in politics around the presentation of 'facts' and indeed in other areas of public understanding/misunderstanding such as medical information arises from a lack of understanding and appreciation for the process by which 'facts' are arrived at. If people had a better understanding politicians could not get away with many of their statements as people would be aware that the statement that they just made would be very difficult to demonstrate with so little ambiguity and would question their politicians demanding greater specifics. until politicians are used to heckles like 'define quantitatively the error bars of that statistic!' we will not have reached the optimal level of public understanding of the scientific nature of fact. but I would content that we need to start asking these difficult questions of our politicians so that they start asking them of their sources, then maybe we will see an increase in the frequency moderately sensible governmental decisions.
128299
Richard Acton
Posted almost 4 years ago
Do young people have a valid role to play in national and international politics?
Political decisions have long term implications, decisions made know about for example health services or the economy will affect the futures of young people like myself so yes I think we should have a say. many young people have informed, insightful and novel views the consideration of which could be enormously beneficial. Young people are in most developed nations a shrinking group, and without the consideration of our views our societies are endanger of becoming endemically conservative in nature. This is not conducive to Progress.