science and society

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“There is something deeply rooted in the human soul that draws us to sites of unimaginable disaster. Pompeii, Antietam…”

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“But in the 21st century we hold a special awe for the aftermath of nuclear destruction. The splitting of the atom almost a hundred years ago promised to be the most important human advance since the discovery of fire. Unleashing the forces bound inside atomic nuclei would bring the world nearly limitless energy.”

— George Johnson, The Nuclear Tourist, National Geographic October 2014

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“Images of distant and unknown places have long inspired explorers and the public.”

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“The photographs made during the Hayden expedition to Yellowstone were an essential reason it was selected as America’s first national park in 1872. Photographer William Henry Jackson captured the public’s imagination and support by confirming the existence of western landmarks previously regarded as glorified myths: the Grand Tetons, Old Faithful, and strange pools of boiling-hot mud.”

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“Half a century later photographer Ansel Adams began his long career of delighting the public with luminous pictures of parks that many would not visit.”

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— John Grotzinger, Field Trip on Mars

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“There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson