The latest edition of theÂ Wall Street Journal Weekend Interview is with Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist who is one of the great living explainers of science. (One bit of evidence for that opinion is his talk from several years ago, The World in 2030.)
In the article heÂ offers some predictions for the next hundred years, based on content from his latest book, including the little gem that “By 2020, the word “computer” will have vanished from the English language.”
Anyway, while Kaku’s thoughts about science and how it will impact the future are very interesting, I really loved his pithy comments on education and the value to society created by certain jobs.
“I have nothing against investment banking,” Mr. Kaku says, “but it’s like massaging money rather than creating money. If you’re in physics, you create inventions, you create lasers, you create transistors, computers, GPS.” If you’re an investment banker, on the other hand, “you don’t create anything new. You simply massage other people’s money and take a cut.”
It’s a shame, because Mr. Kaku believes humans are natural-born scientists. “When we’re born, we want to know why the stars shine. We want to know why the sun rises.” But then we hit “the danger years” for young people: high school. “And we lose them by the millions–literally by the millions. Why? It’s a combination of bad teachers and no inspiration.”
I would only add to that combination the science curriculum, not just in high school, with it’s heavy emphasis on memorizing facts instead of experimentation and discovery.