For most of human civilization, the pace of innovation has been so slow that a generation might pass before a discovery would influence your life, culture or the conduct of nations.
There are a lot of things you can do in space, and space essentially is unlimited resources. We are climbing over ourselves here looking for the next source of energy. The universe has an unlimited source of energy.
Any time scientists disagree, it’s because we have insufficient data. Then we can agree on what kind of data to get; we get the data; and the data solves the problem. Either I’m right, or you’re right, or we’re both wrong. And we move on. That kind of conflict resolution does not exist in politics or religion.
We account for one-sixth of the forces of gravity we see in the universe. There is no known objects accounting for most of the effective gravity in the universe. Something is making stuff move that is not anything we have ever touched.
If you think of feelings you have when you are awed by something – for example, knowing that elements in your body trace to exploded stars – I call that a spiritual reaction, speaking of awe and majesty, where words fail you.
I want people to see that the cosmic perspective is simultaneously honest about the universe we live in and uplifting, when we realize how far we have come and how wonderful is this world of ours.
I want to know what dark matter and dark energy are comprised of. They remain a mystery, a complete mystery. No one is any closer to solving the problem than when these two things were discovered.
When we see animals doing remarkable things, how do we know if we’re simply seeing tricks or signs of real intelligence? Are talented animals just obeying commands, or do they have some kind of deeper understanding? One of the biggest challenges for animal researchers is to come up with tests that can distinguish between the two.
The history of exploration across nations and across time is not one where nations said, ‘Let’s explore because it’s fun.’ It was, ‘Let’s explore so that we can claim lands for our country, so that we can open up new trade routes; let’s explore so we can become more powerful.’
We think scientific literacy flows out of how many science facts can you recite rather than how was your brain wired for thinking. And it’s the brain wiring that I’m more interested in rather than the facts that come out of the curriculum or the lesson plan that’s been proposed.