This year taught us more about distant planets and our own world, about the ways we’re influencing our environment and the ways we’re changing ourselves. A whole lot of stuff happened, and last January seems like it was, well, a year ago. Ryan F. Mandelbaum, “The Biggest Science Stories of 2018” at Gizmodo
Okay, nothing in particular jumps out at Mandelbaum, who does a good job of gathering the information, and one can see why his tone is muted. Here are some of the Gizmodo picks:
– Mars exploration continues, space equipment is retired or commissioned (but still no hard evidence of life)
– Drinking and smoking still bad (true but not news) The Book of Proverbs in the Bible could have told you that and the only reason it doesn’t address smoking is that the weed had not made it out of the Americas yet.
– More natural disasters (It’s worth asking whether there are more or whether we have more information about them – one thing globalism has done is create a situation where an event in the Seychelles can be live in Newfoundland. And vice versa. )
– Scientists continued to warn about climate change (it would be news if they stopped)
– Scientists got organized (Actually, that was news as a 2017 story.) The real story won’t come until the scientists have to grapple with the takeover of this sort of “March” politics by anti-Semitism, for example. Then they will face a defining choice: Scientists or Social Justice Warriors?
– We learned more about our history as humans (Mostly along the lines of “earlier than thought” and we still need to put some of that together.)
– Stephen Hawking (76) died. (Okay, but at his age, his obit was mostly written.) As Sabine Hossenfelder often points out, particle physics is in bad shape (“belly-up”) That became clearer in 2018 but who else wants to discuss it? See: Will the Large Hadron Collider doom particle physics?
Okay, life goes on and we learn from it or hope to.
I (O’Leary for News) will discuss some newer developments in the areas we cover in the next post.
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