20 December 2011

Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu

The most alarming thing I found about this article was this paragraph, where the irony appears to be quite unconscious: Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu - Science - News - The Independent:
Some scientists are questioning whether the research should ever have been undertaken in a university laboratory, instead of at a military facility.
It really worries me that "some scientists" appear to put their trust in "military facilities" rather than universities, which are. at least in theory, dedicated to more independent research.

It reminded me of the Cold War parody of a Western hymn:

The day God gave thee, man, is ending
The darkness falls at thy behest
who spent thy little life defending
from conquest by the East, the West.

The sun that bids us live is waking
behind the cloud that bids us die
And in the murk fresh minds are making
new plans to blow us all sky-high.

It worries me that "some scientists" seem to have a preference for operating in that murk.

But never mind:
Bombs shall dig our sepulchre
Bigger bombs exhume us.
Gaudeamus igitur
Juvenes dum sumus.[1]
Or, as Jeremy Taylor used to sing:

Three cheers for the army, and all the boys in blue
Three cheers for the scientists, and politicians too
Three cheers for the future years, when we shall surely reap
All the joys of living on a nuclear rubbish heap.
But since they tell us that "science" has won the battle of "science versus religion" we ought to forget all our outdated superstitions about human sinfulness, and rather put our trust in "some scientists" and their "military facilities".


Notes and references

[1] Both verses from Quake, quake, quake: a leaden treasury of English verse, by Paul Dehn.


James Higham said...

Yes, saw that. Why would they wish to do that?

Moggsy said...

I think maybe the Military facilities aspects they were probably thinking of were security aspects.

Like just anyone can't just walk in and away with stuff.

Some terrorist would find it more difficult to access. They might be more careful with it. Still not safe mind you.. just less unsafe.

The last outbreak of foot and mouth desease (a disease amoungst cattle) in the UK turned out to be traced back to a government civilian lab.

I do think some scientists are too innocent and not careful enough or suspicious enough.

The question I am interested in is can science find an overall cure/immunisation for flue before some version of it kills billions like the Spanish Flue.


Related Posts with Thumbnails