I discovered the Youtube wonder, Symphony of Science , at my second year of University during Maths class. Created by the persona behind melodysheep, the concept involves taking various talks and interviews by scientists, auto-tuning their voices, and creating background music in order to tell a particular story of science. My favourite still remains, We Are All Connected; Neil deGrasse Tyson starts the song by saying, “We are all connected; to each other, biologically; to the earth, chemically; to the rest of the universe, atomically”, thereby setting the scene for an extirpation which removes the spiritual experience from the unknown and unknowable to the realm of the wonders of science. That’s my take on it, at least. Later on in the song, you have Carl Sagan passionately embracing our evolution on this Earth: “I find it elevating and exhilarating to discover that we live in a universe which permits the evolution of molecular machines as intricate and subtle as we.” Take a look here:
I agree with Phil Plait, the author of the Bad Astronomy blog, that the “positive message” the videos bring to the non-science public is its greatest strength, because “they don’t berate the ideas we oppose, they glorify the ideas we support and the feelings we have.” Dr. Plait received a nod in the video, A Wave of Reason:
Again, you have a brilliant beginning featuring Bertrand Russell explaining to an interviewer, “When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: what are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out.” Exactly what science aims to do! The song then goes on to exult the importance of being sceptical, which is vital to science and to critical thinking in general. Richard Feynman even hints that the Universe itself holds greater grandeur than the stories our ancestors have fabricated: “I can’t believe the special stories that have been made up about our relationship to the universe at large. Look at what’s out there; it isn’t in proportion.” In fact, our relationship with the Universe is itself deeper (as alluded to in We Are All Connected) whilst we are still much more insignificant than our ancestors could have known.
We even have a song on our pre-historic ancestors:
The song ends by noting that although humanity has done wonders to get where we are today, there is the danger that we as a species pose to all other lifeforms on Earth and to ourselves.
Lastly, the first Symphony of Science song which propelled it to fame, Glorious Dawn, focuses on the future of humanity:
The song briefly alludes to Carl Sagan’s book, Pale Blue Dot, as Sagan illustrates: “I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.” That certainly puts things into perspective.