Modern civilisation is a miraculous feat, one made possible by science. Every time I take a flight, I marvel at the technology that has allowed us to soar above the clouds as a matter of routine. We have mapped the genome, built supercomputers and the internet, landed probes on comets, smashed atoms at near light speed in particle accelerators and put a man on the Moon. When one stops to contemplate what has been accomplished by our 3lb brains, it’s quite remarkable.
The scientific method might be the single most powerful idea humans have ever had, and progress since the Enlightenment has been simply astonishing. But we are now at a critical juncture where many of the systems we need to master are fiendishly complex, from climate change to macroeconomic issues to Alzheimer’s disease.