Marcelo Glazer: “Science is an essential part of human culture”

Marcelo Glazer is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College in the United States. (Photo: clone)

“Science is an essential part of human culture, and the scientist, like the artist, has the duty to spread this knowledge to as many people as possible”, defends Marcelo Glazer, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College in the United States. . During four decades of academic work, Brazilian scientists have never stopped sharing the knowledge produced in universities with the general public. For at least 30 years, he was one of the leading Brazilian academics to publish his studies in the most diverse media, from television to magazines, including GALILEO, where he was the author of the Horizontes column from 2006 to 2009 and from 2014 to 2015. Today, Gleiser primarily produces content for digital platforms like yours. no youtube channel, which has 203,000 subscribers, and the podcast star talk.

To learn more about his career and participation in GALILEO, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, we spoke with the world about the importance of scientific publication and the greatest scientific milestones of the last three decades. Check out the interview below.

In the 1990s, she became one of the leading physicists to spread science in Brazil. How did you start collaborating with GALILEO?

In September 2006, the then editor-in-chief, Helio Gómez, invited me to contribute monthly articles, which I began to publish in November of the same year in the Horizontes column. The first article was creation science, where I talk a little about the origin of the universe. He continued writing until 2009, adding 31 articles in this first phase. It was then republished in the magazine between 2014 and 2015, with some very prophetic texts [risos]. it’s back [em 2014] We talked about gravitational waves, first observed a few years later, and I ended the second contribution cycle with an article about our future in space, citing the ambitious flights of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who remained in orbit for 10 minutes in July. . this year. In total, he has written 46 articles for GALILEO.

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Among all these texts, is there one that you would like to highlight?

My favorite book was published in August 2014 and it was about transhumanism and how seriously we can take this story of turning our human species into a hybrid between carbon and silicon, between biological and synthetic. This is an interesting question because it includes technological, philosophical, ethical and religious aspects. After all, should we do this? Transhumanism can generate a series of very dangerous social effects, aggravating existing social inequalities.

Why disseminate the results and fundamentals of science to the general public?

I, like the vast majority of my colleagues, could have stayed hidden in academia, writing only articles on physics and mathematics, attending conferences, and working only with specialized journals. But, perhaps because of my character, I think this is a somewhat selfish position, because for me science is an essential part of human culture, and the scientist, like the artist, has a duty to spread this knowledge. possible people. The intention not to confine scientific knowledge to scientists is very important: it enriches society, strengthens the democratic process and empowers citizens.

What advice would you give for a good scientific publication?

One of the most important things for anyone who will speak in public is understanding who they are speaking to and adapting the way they convey information. Also, you have to understand this: people do not relate to information both intellectually and emotionally. So the most effective way to influence them is through stories, not data. If you talk about global warming, tell the story of the people and places that have already been affected, because the public does not get along with predictions of what will happen in 10, 15 or 20 years.

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During the past 30 years, what have been the most important discoveries in your field of study?

In my field, which combines cosmology and particle physics, I remember three moments: the confirmation of the Higgs boson, the observation of gravitational waves through black hole collisions, and the discovery of the existence of exoplanets around almost every planet. stars of the world. , which makes the search for extraterrestrial life absolutely essential to modern science.

And what topics should physics dominate for the next 30 years?

First, the possibility of indirect detection of life on another planet. I don’t think we’ll find anything on Mars, Europa [lua de Júpiter]Enceladus [lua de Saturno] etc. But when we have telescopes like James Webb, due out this fall, we will be able to analyze the chemical makeup of other distant planets and find out what kinds of chemical elements there are. The other central theme will be dark matter, which we know exists in quantities five times greater than ordinary matter in the universe, but which has never been found. In the end, we will have to fix this problem.

Myrtle Frost

"Reader. Evil problem solver. Typical analyst. Unapologetic internet ninja."

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