I Hereby Declare October 4th to be Sputnik Day

Fifty years ago today, the first man made object was put into orbit by the Soviets. The fact that this had come after our failed Vanguard attempts shocked the United States, and began the space race. We Americans realized that we were slipping from our technological high ground if even the commies could get to space before we could, so we began to radically change our science education system, increase science research funding, and raised the public’s interest in science. Unfortunately, the Space race fizzled out and ended completely in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. What we need now is another space race. The public’s interest in science is waning, and pseudoscience has become as credible as real science to the general populace. Science funding is decreasing, and as a current student, I can attest to the problems with science education. I can only hope that another competition like the space race emerges, be it in computing, particle physics, space explanation- whatever. But unless people perceive an immediate benefit from science, public support will continue to wane.

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2 Responses to “I Hereby Declare October 4th to be Sputnik Day”

  1. Darmok Says:

    I agree; without public support and interest, we are in trouble. It seems like so much of science is beyond the interest or comprehension of the average citizen. (This is, in part, what motivated me to write today.)

  2. Nick Says:

    Americans fail, go commies – or even better; go England.

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