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Title Ivory Ghetto, The
Subject Science
Description The 33rd Annual Frederick William Reynolds Lecture
Creator Dick, Bertram Gale, 1926-
Publisher Division of Continuing Education, University of Utah
Date 1969-02-17
Date Digital 2008-05-29
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications Original scanned on Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed tiff. Display images generated in PhotoshopCS and uploaded into CONTENTdm Aquisition Station.
Resource Identifier,898
Source Q171 .D525
Language eng
Relation Digital reproduction of "The Ivory Ghetto," J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Rights Digital Image Copyright University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seungkeol Choe; Ken Rockwell
ARK ark:/87278/s62v2d2c
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320157
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Title Page 5
Description THE IVORY GHETTO It is curious that the field within physics which at the moment probably occupies more physicists the world over than does any other is relatively unknown outside the physical sciences. I would like, this evening, to talk about this field of study, which is called solid state physics and which has produced a rich harvest of intellectual and practical rewards. That is what I would like to talk about, but it is not what I am going to talk about. The primary reason for my not giving a lecture on solid state physics is that I am rather afraid that it would be a flop. The secondary reason is that I have some things I want to say on why that lecture seems foredoomed. My remarks this evening might be taken as a rather extended apology for not lecturing on what I know about. What I shall be talking about and what keeps me from giving the lecture I probably ought to be giving is a familiar situation. Most educated people, as a rule, don't expect to understand physics; and physicists, by and large, don't expect to be understood except by other physicists. Occasional, notable exceptions don't significantly alter this basic dilemma, which is so widely recognized as to be commonplace. There is a communications gulf between scientists and non-scientists that is unusual in its breadth. I should like first to examine this gap and then to describe its geography and properties. This examination will form a background, then, for a discussion of where it came from and what, if anything, ought to be done about it. Although the problem that I shall be discussing is quite a general one, my remarks will be mainly concerned with the relationship between physics and its more or less non-existent public. Every specialist feels that the world is insensitive to the true value of his work. Among specialists, scientists are more isolated than most; and among scientists, physicists are probably the most remote. Thus, physics can serve as a useful extreme example of the gap between scientists and non-scientists, and I shall use the words science and physics interchangeably. You may replace these at your pleasure with your favorite recondite science. There is little doubt that a gulf of misunderstanding separates scientists and non-scientists; it is a familiar situation which we all recognize. It is not hard to convince oneself of the gap. Who, aside from the professional scientist, knows much about the startling pictures of nature which relativity and quantum theory have revealed? How many who accept the atomic nature of all matter as a fact could begin to justify this acceptance? How many people have any clear idea of the interplay between speculation and observation in physics that has repeatedly forced 5
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 007-RNLT-DickG_ Page 5.jpg
Source Original Manuscript: The Ivory Ghetto by Bertram G. Dick.
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 320139
Reference URL