We have all been there. You walk into a party and amidst the drowned out sounds of small talk and hip-hop’s latest banger you hear someone with fire in their voice. It is the drunken politicians of the party having a slurred debate about whatever they read on CNN that morning. To be honest with all of you, that is usually me. In between socially awkward drunk me and born-to-dance drunk me lurks a politically charged social justice warrior waiting to pounce on my more conservative friends (you know who you are).
While I love some good, drunken political banter, what I truly love is science. From NASA’s 2050 vision of a colony on Mars to the ramifications of CRISPR/Cas gene editing, I am captivated by it all. I think to some degree we are all captivated by it, whether we know it or not. It is human progress, the endless voyage to understand our universe and ourselves. If you haven’t noticed, science is becoming cool again; I mean it was always cool for us nerds but I digress. Science figureheads and personal idols of mine Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye are changing the field of science communication. Movies like The Martian, Hidden Figures, Interstellar, and Arrival are getting us all jazzed up about the future of space travel.
So with this rebirth of the coolness of science, why have I yet to experience a drunken debate on gene editing? Or whether we will be able to make Mars habitable? My dream is to one day walk into the same party I have walked into a hundred times, the same sounds, the same music, but when I inevitably hover to the source of that slurred debate I find the drunken pseudo-scientists at the center of it. That to me is scientific progress. I want my science the way I want my whiskey, amongst friends and on the rocks.