What Don’t We Know, Science Asks

    July 1, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The 125th anniversary of the magazine poses 125 questions about life, the universe, and everything.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the first question was posed by journalist John Michel, who asked Thomas Edison for money to start a magazine.

The Wizard of Menlo Park answered with $10000. In current dollars, a journalist would have to ask Bill Gates for $180,000, and starting a magazine for that amount would be a real accomplishment.

The magazine posed 125 questions, and in the latest issue publishes answers from scientists. Are we alone in the universe? Not likely, based on the massive number of stars, galaxies, and planets out there.

When will we run out of oil? Middle of the century, apparently, and maybe sooner. Even the most optimistic observers won’t predict past that point. But solar energy looks like a big favorite, along with wind, biomass, and nuclear power.

Many of the questions do not have hard answers, no absolutes. But they do show that on many issues, scientists have at least workable theories, and may just unlock some of these mysteries over time.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.