Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wacky Wednesday - Looking Back 2017

As we progress into the first week of 2018, I found an article that identified a few scientific items from 2017 that, well makes you say "Whoa, that's awesome. (from" Considering the quote this week from Albert Einstein about learning from yesterday. I've listed the first 3:

1. The total solar eclipse transfixed the nation and I MISSED IT! We are in the Nashville area, so we should have had prime viewing of the eclipse, but mother nature can be a heartless creature sometimes. 5 minutes before the total eclipse started the winds shifted and roughly 2 minutes before the full eclipse a cloud that wasn't a threat before moved between ourselves and the sun. The cloud cleared the view roughly 4 minutes after thte total eclipse had passed.  It was amazing to watch the world go dark, but my wife and I along with several friends from out of town missed the event, thanks to good old mother nature!

2. Gene therapy approval by the FDA falls into the "Cool, but..." category. This is one of those items that could be used for good, or could easily find its way into medling with things that many would argue shouldn't be meddled with. Are you familiar with the movie Gattaca?

3. CRISPR became an even more precise tool to fix nature's "mistakes." As if to back up my point, number 3 falls into the same category. Another tool to rewrite genetic code. The current target is to cure genetic disease, but what other areas could this be used for? How about Kahn from Star Trek?

From Star Trek: Into Darkness

As we continue to progress in science and in many other areas of endeavour perhaps it is more important than ever that good leadership be present. I can think of a lot of good and an end of suffering from these things, but our popular culture warns us about the impact of this path:

From Jurrasic Park

When I first started writing this post I didn't think it would turn into an ethics conversation, but it has migrated in that direction. Science will continue to progress and it is up to leaders to ensure it is for the benefit and done ethically. Leadership is more than about accomplishing a goal, but also about accomplishing the right goals. Next week I'll post a quote and talk about goals needing to scare you, but perhaps the follow-up question should be "Is it scaring you for the right reasons?"

I won't review the whole list, but thought the article was worth sharing. Take a look and let me know what you think!

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