Unpopular Science 230722
One reason science has stalled
Anyone who loves science should be disappointed at the slow pace of progress over the past century.
It’s easy to show fantastic progress in technology: one look at your iPhone will disabuse you of any pretense that things are not better than they were twenty years ago. But other than computers, can you name much in science that really represents a breakthrough, on the order of the Theory of General Relativity, the discovery of DNA, or the development of antibiotics? CRISPR is pretty cool, but wouldn’t you rather see a cure for cancer?
Paypal billionaire and contrarian investor Peter Thiel is famously disappointed in the lack of technological progress over his lifetime. “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,” he says.
And what is the cause of the slowdown?