What will our institutions of science be studying in 50 or 100 years? What questions will scientists be asking? What problems will they be addressing and solving? How far will our scientific understanding of nature, life and ourselves have evolved and what unknowns will we still be exploring?
There are presently a handful of vocal and visible theorists projecting their ideas about the direction in which science will evolve. However, they generally project concepts or technologies based on already existing theoretical speculation. What is interesting is that the great paradigm shifts that advance science have never sprung from existing precepts. Instead, transformational scientific theories and belief systems always emerge once enough anomalies are recognized to challenge the status quo of existing conventions. Scholar Thomas Kuhn provides excellent evidence supporting how such evolutionary leaps occur in his landmark treatise, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a worthy read for scientists and non-scientist alike.
Our sciences are currently marginalized into three broad categories: physical, (physics, chemistry, engineering, etc.), biological (neurology, genetics, botany, etc.), and social (psychology, sociology, history, etc.). Even though research conducted in multidisciplinary teams is a developing context in which scientific data is accumulated, very little of this research is yet focused on exploring the frontiers of innate human ability. Thus, there are very few predictors for a science of human potential since academic environments as a whole are not yet peering in this direction.
Further, these artificial divisions of scientific inquiry are inconsistent with our actual experiences of life. For instance, when I inhale the rich aroma of a gorgeous Casablanca lily, I experience an emotional reaction of sheer ecstasy, and my brain is flooded with a cascade of neurotransmitters, signaling a multitude of physiological processes throughout my body. Or, if I stand on a waterfront dock captivated by the fading glow of the sun disappearing into the horizon, again, my body experiences an emotional reaction while neurologically stimulating the flooding of chemical responses that were not active only moments ago. Thus, my experience of the physical world evokes emotional responses, which then directly correlate with neurological processes, all of which generate subtle electromagnetic fields: a continuous interface and exchange of information and energy with the world around me. What are studied as separate fields of science is experienced as seamless and interconnected reality throughout life.
While science continues to explore in mostly reductionistic directions, so, too, do those who are trained in this rigorous yet often fractionated mindset. This minimizes the consideration of comprehensive models that would open the door to potential paradigm shifts. Consequently, what is missing is not simply the more multi-disciplinary perspective, but the concurrent inquiries that lead us in a greater, more visionary direction.
Once we begin to ideate and train in more comprehensive scientific systems of inquiry that better model our experience of life, we will inevitably ask questions about our impact on, and our interactivity and interconnectedness with, the whole of life. Scientific inquiry will expand to reflect our rich experience of life, becoming much more exciting and captivating in its study.
It is the premise of this column that many of our current, fundamental scientific assumptions will not sustain the significant impact of the emerging pool of human-generated anomalous research data. Rigorous evidence is building which supersedes the current models, clearly moving us toward a more unified understanding of the scope of human beings as well as our innate human potential. Additionally, the integration of these understandings into our cultures and schools will revolutionize the sciences and technologies of the future.
Thus, what the future of science promises truly is an expansion into an understanding of the greater part of us, the unlimited capacity within us, becoming an adventure of ultimate discovery.
Danielle Graham is the Founder and Executive Director of the NW Frontier Research Institute (NWFRI) in WA State. NWFRI’s experimental research is focused on human-generated gravitational and electromagnetic anomalies and is published by the American Institute of Physics.
Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (3rd ed., Univ. of Chicago Press, 1996).
A personal thanks
I would like to acknowledge Dr. Radu Auf der Heyde for contributing his insights as well as engaging in discussions on genius, creativity and idea execution. Friend, colleague and confidant, Radu escorted me to his alma mater, Stanford, instigating fruitful discussions on everything from spacebased gravitational wave experiments to cutting edge fMRI neurological research. Time and again, Radu inspired a significant depth of contemplation and idea formulation throughout the process of generating this issue’s content. Though he did not formally participate in editorial meetings or pen any articles, his contributions are implicitly present throughout this first issue nonetheless.
With deepest affection, thank you.
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How do you see science evolving in the next 100 years?