Galileo's Pancakes

I read with great interest Walter Brown's article1 regarding mankind's uneasiness with change. Dr. Brown compared the skepticism upon arrival of certain modern technologies (e.g. vaccinations, cell phones, E-mail, genetically modified foods) with the advent of the new blueberry pancake in Helen Baxter's kitchen in 1897. Even though I understand the point that Dr. Brown is trying to convey in his essay, it is a poor comparison. It would have been of interest to mention past scientists who were revolutionary thinkers for their time period. Some examples: Galileo and Bruno. These Italian scientists embraced the Copernican theory (versus the widely accepted Ptolemaic theory) and as a result suffered much personal injury at the hands of the church inquisitors. In this regard, it is easy to conclude that "new has always scared us." However, as scientists we must be willing to be "risk-takers," even if the short-range outcome...

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