Summary of the Essay: “Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind’s Survival” by Vladimir Keilis-Borok
Vladimir Keilis-Borok (1921-2013) was a Russian seismologist and mathematical geophysicist. He was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was the research group leader at the Russian Academy of Science’s International Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics.
He was also Co-Director (and Founder) of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics’ Research Programme on Nonlinear Dynamics and Earthquake Prediction in Trieste. In his essay ‘Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind’s Survival,’ Keilis-Borok discusses his career as a scientist and believes that science is the indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity.
Vladimir Keilis-Borok wrote the essay “Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind’s Survival.” The writer has presented the importance of science and its inventions to the welfare of humanity in this essay. Science, according to the author, is an indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity.
The author claims that scientists cannot live without science, despite earning less money. They appreciate their freedom, camaraderie, and independence. The discovery itself is a significant reward for scientists.
According to the writer, he was summoned to Geneva because an American scientist cited his work while arguing with Moscow experts.
Prior to the Geneva Summit, the leaders of three powerful countries were willing to agree to a moratorium on new nuclear weapons tests.
They were confronted with the issue of violating the ban agreement. A team of technical experts was assembled to detect a secret underground nuclear weapons test.
As a seismologist, the author had theoretical knowledge that had a direct application in the field of human survival. The writer became aware of the true significance of science, scientists, and scientific tools to the well-being of humanity’s survival.
The writer was able to tell the difference between the two tremors. Tremors, both natural and man-made. Natural disasters include earthquakes, self-inflicted megacity destruction, environmental catastrophes, and economic and social crises. Man-made disasters include a massive release of radioactivity from nuclear waste disposal, an outbreak of mass violence, war, and other similar events.
Scientists are the most pragmatic people on the planet. It can be seen in their various inventions. Basic science knowledge is always beneficial to people in various fields.
Science is the only force capable of ensuring humanity’s safety and survival. Scientific research is a sign that humanity is still alive. Science is the unavoidable defender and caretaker of humanity’s survival. Science should be used in a humane manner, with no malice intended.
Vladimir Koillis-Borok, a Russian mathematical geophysicist and seismologist, wrote the essay “Scientific Research is a Token of Humankind Survival.” This essay has presented facts about science and its significant contribution to the lives of people all over the world. This essay demonstrated how scientists from all over the world rise above their national identities to solve common problems that affect all nations. This essay’s speaker is the author himself. Here, he defends science, claiming that science is the indispensable guardian and caretaker of humanity.
The author begins with the profession of a scientist, stating that scientists earn less than businessmen, lawyers, and doctors. Despite this, some people choose to be scientists because they cannot live without science. According to the author, science is an exciting adventure in which the main reward is the discovery itself. Instead of large sums of money, the scientist receives honours and promotions as a result of his or her discoveries. A scientist earns less money than lawyers, doctors, and businessmen, but he or she enjoys more freedom, camaraderie, and independence.
The author then tells his readers about his experiences during the Cold War. The author claims that in 1960 while conducting research on seismic waves (Earth tremors) in Moscow, he was summoned by the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The President showed him a letter from Geneva pertaining to a Geneva meeting on nuclear weapons. Fran Press, an American scientist, summoned him to Geneva for the discussion. As a result, the author ended up in Geneva.
The fear of nuclear annihilation was extremely high at the time. People were under threat. The cold war was at its peak in 1960. Russia (Soviet Union), America, and the United Kingdom all possessed a large number of nuclear weapons. They could easily destroy other countries with nuclear weapons in their first strike.
Prior to the Geneva Summit, three powerful nations made an important decision for the sake of humanity’s survival. The three nuclear powers were willing to reach an agreement prohibiting new nuclear weapons tests. That was the atmosphere of the cold war when scientists from opposing sides had to reach an agreement to promote world peace and prevent the use of nuclear weapons. That episode taught the writer that science is the only hope for everyone’s survival and well-being.
The writer was a seismologist with theoretical knowledge of seismic waves. His theoretical knowledge had a direct application in the field of human survival. He was well-versed in tremors caused by underground nuclear explosions as well as tremors caused by earthquakes. The writer would be able to tell the difference between the two tremors based on his knowledge.
Scientists, according to the author, are the most practical people on the planet. This could be seen in new technologies and industry brands ranging from defence to entertainment. Antibiotics, electronics, biotechnology, synthetic fibres, the green revolution, and genetic forensic diagnosis are all inventions of scientists. People’s lives are always aided by a basic understanding of science.
Natural and man-made disasters, according to the author, are threatening the survival of our civilization. Natural disasters include earthquakes, self-inflicted destruction of megacities, environmental disasters, and economic and social crises. Man-made disasters cited by the author include a massive release of radioactivity from nuclear waste disposal and an outbreak of mass violence.
Science is our unavoidable protector and caretaker because it is the only science capable of ensuring that we move with time safely.
Countries signed a treaty not to test nuclear weapons in secret for the sake of humanity’s survival. However, science and its scientists ensured humanity’s survival. It is the only science capable of distinguishing between tremors caused by nuclear explosions and natural earthquakes. Science can provide us with new energy sources, mineral deposits, and effective anti-terrorism defences.
Science’s hope for humanity’s survival has a broader significance as well. In the current scenario, both natural and man-made disasters endanger humanity’s safety. Whether it is a tsunami or terrorism, money alone will not solve the problem. The only hope is for scientific solutions. Thus, the author has a plethora of reasons to conclude that science is the only hope for survival.