Sustaining Scientific Pursuit
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Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died today. Acknowledged as one of humanity’s greatest minds, he gained international fame for his work on black holes and his continued commitment towards asking the “big questions” of the universe.
Hawking has been an inspiration to Sustainably Motivated, and his insights remain timely and relevant. Indeed, his words carry significant importance when considering the immense challenge facing us with the onset of planetary climate change.
The Quest for Knowledge
With so much misinformation being disseminated, he reminds us that, “the greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” We must therefore stay humble, stay hungry (for knowledge), and stay dedicated to the pursuit of answers.
Curiosity and critical thinking are some of humanity’s most powerful assets, yet they require support and engagement. Concordantly, there is very real danger in willful ignorance. Scientists have confirmed time and again that human activity and carbon emissions are warming the planet. Despite the data however, it is often wrongly perceived as a debate by the media, or simply shrugged off by those who have political views that somehow oppose the science.
This view is alarming and perilous. Scientific understanding has led to the development of our civilization as a result of the respect given to the genuine facts. Hawking reiterates that science has given us plenty of fair warning (Washington Post). We need to respect the evidence and act accordingly. Recognizing the problem is the first step towards working on solutions. With avid curiosity and a desire to test and experiment, we can eventually work this one out together. Thank you Professor Hawking for showing us the way to tackle the big questions and pursue our search for answers.