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Posted by Nicholas on November 30, 2002 06:44:25 UTC

...but the public has to make an effort. Half the people I meet are scared of physics and don't even WANT to know about it. The basic concepts are not really that hard, it's just the details that are tricky. They think it's too far beyond them and that they'll be outcasts if they study it. On the outcast part, they're right. I don't treat the public as an inconvenience, but the public does treat me as a robot, somebody who can give them all sorts of nice technology and just accept the fact that I'm resented anytime I try to say anything mildly intelligent. Half of the people that actually ARE interested in science are only interested because they want to disprove it in favor of their favorite religion or philosophy. These people ARE an inconvenience because they try to recruit the general public into their cause and make them distrust anything real scientists say. Meanwhile, their cars, televisions, computers, microwaves, space shuttles, cell phones, ICBMs, and pocket digital companions are running on the sweat and tears of generation upon generation of hard-working scientists, many of whom work 80-100 hour weeks to push this society forward. Don't tell me I don't respect the public. Ever since I got to this school, I've been fighting to even get the chance to teach a class to undergraduates and actually pass my knowledge on to younger students and interested onlookers. Most of them don't even care, they just want the credit.

I'm more than happy to discuss the things I've been studying and debate current issues in the field, but don't tell me how to do my job and please don't tell me that I don't care about the public. I am doing this for the people, whether they appreciate it or not. The only reason I came to message boards like this was to discuss my field with the public, but all I get is harassment and complaining. I appreciate that you've been more respectful in your recent posts and I thank you.

Do I assume that I'm right on issues related to astronomy? Hell yes. It's my livelihood. I would love if you and others would share your expertise with me, because I am a curious person by nature.

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