What science is involved to even allow you to read this online?


Many consider that we currently have a crisis of public trust in science.

That’s probably not true. [data here for the US but similar trends are seen in Europe]

It can just seem that way because people are suspicious of vaccines and 5G may be considerably more prolific in posting about it on social media.

And a lot of people who would just rather not get into online debates about it.

Whatever your instincts towards science and medicine it’s worth remembering that science is helping you read this article right now.


Most of you are probably reading this on your phone which contains 60+ metals so that’s metallurgy.

Your phone and laptop are also made of plastics from the casing to the circuit boards to the colours in your screen. That’s chemistry.

Ditto for the battery that this article is depleting.

You can only hear the sounds your devices make and see the colours because biologists know which wavelengths to use.

The clock on your device is probably set by GPS which works because of orbital mechanics and the theory of general relativity. Thanks Einstein!

The electricity to power your battery – whether it comes from dirty coal burning somewhere or beautiful solar panels or your really capable friend who has rigged up a system powered by pedaling a bicycle – also runs because of physics.

Physics is also involved when your device communicates with the server, other phones or any other device. That’s radio theory and magnetism.

Quantum mechanics is involved in the microprocessors in your device – blame them when your computer starts running too slowly.

Your devices only work because of digital theory and tons of really hard maths.

Likewise for the internet itself.

And given that 100 years ago 30% of kids never made it past the age of 5, there’s a good chance that modern medicine is one of the reasons that you’re alive today to read this.