As my head thinks it is still swaying back and forth on a boat, my mind continues to revisit a poem entitled "Transitions Under Knowledge Acquisition," which documents an angle of intersubjectivity (lack of objectivity) of science: knowledge acquisition of a subject or object is usually coupled with deep emotional attachment, hence biasing what we as scientists know and how we make decisions.
Lack of knowledge --> apathy --> lack of care --> lack of action or innovation or management
Knowledge acquisition --> emotional attachment --> care --> action / innovation / management
I originally wrote the poem above a couple of weeks after watching "The Day After Tomorrow," a climate change Hollywood flick that was a little bit ahead of the times... Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth came out about a year later. I was about to watch the film with Seth and other cool UC Riverside Earth Scientists, but it turned out that they went without me, and I went with a friend--but I don't remember exactly who. I vividly remember driving from Riverside to the Moreno Valley Walmart off Day Street, and this poem came pouring out of my head! My father was forced to watch the film on his Birthday with all the other geologists up in the White-Inyo Mountains either in September of 2008 or 2007. He was disgusted by the science of the film, simply because it was "science fiction too intertwined with science" that it would be too difficult to pick apart for the generic public, but I think he enjoyed the notion that the star of the show was a paleoclimatologist--somewhat like himself--and that sometimes esoteric, abstract knowledge from the university can have political implications and can actually serve in the equation of natural selection and survival of the fittest: the few people who knew how the storm operated survived while all the other ignorant humans croaked like ants sprayed with windex. The film clearly portrayed the role of science in society, from esotericism to pragmatism to political decision-making... all the way to survival of one or a few individual lives. I felt that the underlying mechanisms of science were stripped down to its barebone nakedness.
Soon after writing the poem, I incorporated the piece into my Question Reality manuscript (http://lulu.com/questionreality). But it keeps coming back to haunt... so I better blog it as well.
I suppose I am now preaching to the choir.... At the last AAAS meeting in Chicago, Al Gore provided a mandate that scientists must get involved in politics, meaning that scientists must take responsibility for what they know. Ahem and amen. Not Al Gore Style politics, but something of the like....