Die Gefährdung der Wissenschaft

Paris: Vor einem Jahrhundert sagte Anatole France, als er darüber nachdachte was die Zukunft wohl bringen werde, „mein Wunsch ist, Bücher der Schuljungen zu lesen, wie sie im Jahre 2000 sein werden“. Während das Millenium in die Geschichte eingeht, sollten wir uns vielleicht fragen, ob unsere Schulkinder in der gleichen Art und Weise inspiriert werden, wie es sich einst Anatole France erhofft hatte.

Das zwanzigste Jahrhundert hat große technische Revolutionen erlebt wie zum Beispiel das Fernsehen, den Luftverkehr und die Raketentechnik. Auf einer tiefgründigeren Ebene haben sich auch zwei konzeptuelle Revolutionen ereignet. Von den Atomen bis hin zu den Sternen haben wir nun eine präzise, funktionierende Vorstellung von fast allen physikalischen Phänomenen. Die einzige grosse Lücke in unserem Wissen umfasst den Anfang des Universums. Die zweite konzeptuelle Revolution wurde von der Molekularbiologie angegangen. Hier haben wir ebenfalls eine präzise, funktionierende Vorstellung von allen Lebensprozessen, von den Bakterien bis hin zur Menschheit. Wiederum betrifft die einzige grosse Lücke den Ursprung: die Auffassung von einer „Ursuppe“ in den Ozeanen, in denen sich Nukleotide und Peptide irgendwie selbst zu lebenden Organismen organisiert haben, ist nicht restlos überzeugend.

Die Schulbücher von heute berichten mit Stolz von diesen Errungenschaften. Dennoch fehlt im Leben unserer Kinder etwas Wichtiges für das wissenschaftliche Vorankommen. Ein Gefühl des Erstaunens im Anblick der zukünftige wissenschaftliche Fortschritte fehlt; ein steigendes kulturelles Desinteresse für die Wissenschaft macht sich breit. Vielmehr unterdrücken sich ausbreitende gesetzliche Hürden für den wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt den Erfindungsgeist von allen Seiten.

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