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Why I Love Science

Science fascinates me. I’ve always been interested in science and, along with anything computer related, it has always been one of my two favourite courses at school. Whenever I play trivial pursuit with friends or family, I always try to pick the science and nature category. It’s just so damn interesting.

There are many aspects of science that peak my interest. From the discoveries of how the world works to the potential applications of those discoveries.  Early on, learning that the sun is actually just another star, but closer.  That we are tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe (and even smaller now in the multiverse). That science has helped humans survive. And that science helps individuals survive.  It’s things like these that science gives us every day, how could you not love it? In fact, as an example, just earlier this week I was totally excited to learn that Australian researchers have made a major breakthrough in transplant immunity.

Professor Jonathan Sprent and Dr Kylie Webster from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, in collaboration with colleagues, Dr Shane Grey and Stacey Walters, have successfully tested a method, in experimental mice, of adjusting the immune system for just long enough to receive a tissue transplant and accept it as ‘self’. At no stage, during or after the procedure, is there any need for immunosuppressive drugs.

I have to confess, although I love all science news, my interest in science is a little selfish. You see, I have a congenital heart defect. A defect which, had I been born 15 years earlier, I would not have survived from.  But medical science was advanced enough to correct it. The procedure I had, the Mustard Procedure, was developed in 1963 and reduced an 80% mortality rate in the first year of life to an 80% survival at age 20. I’m 30 and doing relatively well. But I know one day I will likely require a heart transplant.

And it’s this type of science that makes me search the news sites daily.  The science that keeps us alive and well. The science that lets us live.  That’s the science that really interests me.

And so it’s no surprise that the pseudoscience that angers me most is health pseudoscience, or crap-based medicine. Everything from naturopaths to anti-vaxxers. They should all be outlawed because they take the public’s focus away from the stuff that works by making promises they can’t keep. And they know it.

So why do I love science. Because were it not for science, like many others, I wouldn’t be alive.

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