Beyond 2001: A Science Odyssey



Science and every day life cannot and should not be separated.
- Rosalind Franklin

What makes it vital, what makes it fruitful, it is the absolute Titanic passion that I have put into it. It is passion that has made my intellect clear, passion that has made me never stop to ask myself if the work was worth doing, passion that has made me not care if no human being ever read a word of it; it is passion that enabled me to sit for years before a blank page, thinking the whole time about one possibly trivial point that I could not get right...
- Bertrand Russel

Being a scientist is not going through the exams, getting a diploma, publishing papers, and building a career. Being a scientist is nothing less than having a very personal relationship with the Universe.
- AR

The things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

A reasonable man adapts himself th the condtions that surround him. An unreasonable man adapts the surrounding conditions to himself. All progress depend on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw

The age of nations has passed. Now, unless we wish to perish, we must shake off all our old prejudices and build the Earth.
- Pierre Theilhard de Chardin




Web sites

You can get the news on what is going on in Science from the following Web sites.

Science

Mathematics

Physics

Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Space Exploration

Computing and Artificial Intelligence

Technology

Taking control

Contemporary Music

To learn about comtemporary music and to listen to some pieces

Upgrading our morality

It is about time we leave behind a morality based on old myths and upgrade our values to an ethic agreeing with reality.

Publications available in PDF format


Podcast and MP3 audio files

Do we really have to listen to all these boring talk shows with the same stupid car advertisement every twenty minutes, day after day, after day? Do they think we are that stupid?

Why not try something completely different and learn some really fun stuff?

Science

Mathematics

I have always been fascinated by the elegance of mathematics, the way concepts are assembled step by step into a coherent theory. The language is often a bit abstract, this is true, but it is nothing less than the language of nature itself and is thus mostly well suited to reflect all its beauty and harmony.

Astronomy and space exploration

I am quite found of Astronomy.

Back in 1957, I was a 10-year old in grade 4 of primary school. One day, a kid in my class showed me the Astronomy book he had. When I looked at the images and learned about the planets, I immediately felt as if I had been confined in an opaque box all my life and as if, suddenly, someone had made a little opening and showed me the vastness of the outside world. I just fell in love with the Universe and science became a real passion for me. However, many years later, in 1969, due to various circumstances, I had became a drop out.

Then, one Sunday afternoon, I saw a TV show on space exploration with host Jacques Lebrun. He was explaining how engineers manage to move a satellite from one orbit to another. This brough back memories of the good times I had when learning about the subject. A few months later, I returned to college to complete my degree. I then went to university, got a B. Sc. in Physics (with a minor in Mathematics) and then a Master degree in Astrophysics.

Returning to school (and, more importantly to science) was, undoubtedly, the best decision of my life.

Physics

Physics is really my great love, my personal relation with the Universe.

Philosophy

Philosophy is another subject that I am particularly fond of.

I remember the raging discussions I had on the moral implications of the theory of evolution and about the attitude we should have toward other animals. There were also those less tumultuous discussions about knowledge and perceptions, discussions which, most of the time, lasted through the middle of the night.

For me, philosophy is mainly thinking about thinking (logic), thinking about knowledge (philosophy of science), and thinking about being a decent person (ethics). And all this is pretty important.

Technology

Medicine

Quite frankly, I don't trust physicians and this is not without good reasons. And these are just general reasons. I won't get into all the cases of wrong diagnosis and of the medication poisonings that I know of. This would take too much space.

So, out of necessity and, although I am much more interested in Physics and Cosmology, I have begun to take notice of the good sources of medical information. (For more on this, see my Med Skull page.)

Here are some good medical shows available as MP3 files,

Miscellaneous subjects


Videocast and MP4 video files


Getting involved in active learning


Getting involved in active research

You would like to be part of the game but you don't have much time now to spend in libraries studying science? Until you do, you can still get involved and participate in serious science projects.

Here is one that is very popular:

You can also use the idle time on your PC and contribute to data analysis or to mathematical modelisation. Some of the projects are:



The world we will have tomorrow
depends on the science we do today.

Let's dissolve our nations
and, together, let's build our planet.


Andre Ratel
aratel@vif.com



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