Have you ever thought about trends in scientific research? Probably not, but, just like anything else, science goes through trends and fads. Back around 2010 when I was first getting into the researching world, the p53 protein was the latest craze. Everyone was studying it trying to figure out how it works in tumor suppression. Since then the frenzy has faded. Sure, plenty of people are still studying it, but the science world has moved on to whatever the next hot topic is.
Today I wanted to take a look back in history at changes in trends nearly 100 years ago. How did world wars shape what people were studying and what was seen as trendy? One of the common themes of the Americans at home during wartime was that everyone chipped in. People who had stayed home, went to work. Scrap metal was collected and recycled to build equipment. This mindset continued into the science world as well. Young scientists started focusing on projects in radar, atomic research, and operational research, trying to help the war effort any way they could.
After the war, there was still a lot of money being funneled into research, but after seeing all that death, the hearts and minds of scientists chose to change their focus. This was really the start of a boom in interest in biophysics. As one science historian put it, “Biophysics, the ‘physics of life,’ played an important function to counterbalance the ‘physics of death’ that had led to the atomic bomb”.
It amazes me that after years of working in one area, these scientists were able to completely change what they were researching, but the trends of the day had a major influence. In this case, they were influenced by the tragedy that they saw for years during the second world war. After years of death in war, they wanted to help bring about life and peace.
I am not saying that one group of scientists were better or worse than the other. Both sets of scientists worked hard and produced science that would help their causes. Looking back, one cause was clearly war, while the others worked for peace. I have no doubt that you work very hard in your life, but during that work, are you working towards peace? It can be either peace in the world or even just peace in your individual life.
Having a small child and having just bought a house there seems to be very little peace in my life. I feel like I’m always running around and that I have 1000 things to do. I am in constant conflict on what I should do in order to best serve my family and what I should do to cultivate peace in my heart. It’s definitely not something I’m good at. I am a little better at helping maintain peace among my family and friends, but in doing so I’m probably sacrificing my own personal peace. I REALLY have to work at it. Honestly, the only way I have any chance at achieving peace is through the help of the Prince of Peace.
In the book of Isaiah, it is prophesied that Jesus would come, bringing peace to all. As we approach the celebration of His birth, we must strive to find peace. We must take the time to ask Him for His help. Even as the world around us is telling us to buy more, decorate more, cook more, do more, it is important to slow down and find that peace in Him. Take the rest of this 2nd week of Advent and really try to find time to rest. Take some time to yourself to regain that peace. Pray to Jesus that He may show you how. I know I need the help, may He help you too.