Many people still have doubts about the pre-eminence of Science in our daily lives. Life itself is a Science. People are living organisms: they move, respond to changes and stimuli in their environment (stimulus-response sequel); use energy, reproduce and develop.
Whenever one identifies, states a problem and poses a question about the world where he/she lives, that person is being scientific! The desire to answer such questions leads to the formation of hypotheses (predictions that can be tested). Experiments are then designed and carried out to test the hypotheses. Data collection, analysis and conclusions are then made from the information got. That is how Science works.
Technology simply means applied science. This is what drives the world. All the activities we perform have a scientific background to them. The brain is used in all these tasks. When mankind learnt to overcome the force of gravity by use of rockets, the stage was set for orbital satellites, which allow us to use mobile phones, digital satellite TV and make the accurate weather predictions and forecasts we all enjoy on CNN and Google Earth. Of course, other Scientists helped in the feat, such as those who could encode and de-code the messages (sound, light wave and electro-magnetic). If we had the right equipment, all of us could utilize the immense solar energy for our daily locomotion. Imagine donning a “Dish-hat” that traps solar energy and can charge your shoes for long distance travel! Truly, truly I say to you: If you can imagine it, you can do it! If not you, then someone else can do it from your imagination!!!
Mother Earth, a fast-rotating sphere of matter in space turns on its axis every 24 hours (day), and makes one revolution around the Sun every 366 days (year). It is precisely because of this that no one can claim to be at rest on Earth! Instead, we are in fact flying in space at slightly over 1000miles per hour, right now. Imagination is worth more than what is current knowledge. At least that is what I think right now.
I wonder why Ugandans have not yet utilized the abundant dry banana fibres and leaves to start paper-making cottage industries. This would be God-send in this era of environmental consciousness. The Newspaper industry could invest there (a case of backward linkage) and get newsprint from the peasant farmers! I can volunteer organize farmers! All I need is a Local Purchase Order for the fibres and dry banana leaves from a serious paper processor, or esteemed magazine conglomerate, who would then supply the print media and publishing world with paper of banana origin.
Of late, debate has raged about making Science subjects compulsory in the schools and colleges of Uganda. Those against the trend forget that all Arts subjects have a scientific foundation, precisely because critical thinking is a scientific exercise. The brains the antagonists employ to undermine Science are the ultimate scientific instruments humans have. If only they could accept to learn a few ideas of Science, the rest will follow as night follows day.
Science subjects and scientific methods of research and development must be emphasized. We should not listen to the prophets of doom who incite people against science and refuse to learn it thereby enjoying the ‘bliss’ of ignorance.
By Dr. William M. Kihire
Senior Business Advisor, Technoserve, Uganda.
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