Making the Important Accessible

Some people think important subjects shouldn’t be made accessible to large audiences.

  • I had a roommate who said you can't understand physics without understanding its mathematics.
  • I had a teacher who said Indian classical literature must be read in the original Sanskrit.
  • Ted Koppel bemoaned the journalistic trend of tailoring the news to the target markets of sponsors, instead of reporting what is important.
  • Carl Sagan apparently earned the ire of scientists for his work on popularizing astronomy

I am of the opposite opinion, that important or complex subjects should be made accessible. Indeed, some great works of writing and graphics have had this very goal.

  • The renowned physicist Richard Feynmann felt the need to make the theory of quantum electrodynamics accessible.
  • Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking published books that allowed the layperson to experience wonder at how the universe works.

Tags: Philosophy, Reading, Science

Updated at: 26 February 2008 12:02 AM

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