Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Should We Talk About the Weather?

Now that the cool change is finally here and Melbournians can switch their air-cons off and take a breath of fresh air, the time is right to talk about the weather. As in the weather forecasts: Isn't it amazing just how accurate they are?
We take them for granted, but if you think about it they're absolutely not. If we were living with the technology of just a few decades ago there is no way that three days ago we would have been able to tell that one of Melbourne's hottest days and hottest nights ever is coming. But now we can.
Who's to credit? We can credit lots of data gathering, lots of sophisticated models using sophisticated statistics, lots of high capacity computers, and lots of people working hard.
We can thank the science that brought all of these together. Today we don't need to pray or do a dance to know what's ahead of us; we can simply look at a website. Amazing.
It seems to me as if science's biggest public relations problem is that it's so useful we all take it for granted without really appreciating it.

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