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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Science as a frontier: Frontiers aren’t what they used to be

Leah Ceccarelli’s guest column “Stop calling science a ‘frontier’ ” [Opinion, April 6] regarding the language of science is very insightful and forward-thinking.

Science is struggling to become more open and collaborative, and the word “frontier” doesn’t accurately reflect these efforts and sentiments. Yet the reality is that today and throughout history, innovation (of which science is a subset) has frequently been driven by the prospect of gain. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So while replacing the word “frontier” might indeed help align our perceptions with our aspirations and reality, it might also help if we all cultivate a broader understanding that in all our pursuits, from science to international affairs, frontiers just aren’t what they used to be.

Glenn Hampson, executive director National Science Communication Institute, Seattle

Comments | More in Science | Topics: Glenn Hampson, Leah Ceccarelli, science

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