Carl took on the military-industrial complex. He campaigned around the world for an end to the production of weapons of mass destruction. To him it was a perversion of science.
This planet seems to be in such sorry shape. And I can't ever think about the rest of the universe without coming back home and thinking what the implications for life here would be if we were to really have some definitive proof of extraterrestrial life.
For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature.
The aspirations of democracy are based on the notion of an informed citizenry, capable of making wise decisions. The choices we are asked to make become increasingly complex. They require the longer-term thinking and greater tolerance for ambiguity that science fosters. The new economy is predicated on a continuous pipeline of scientific and technological innovation. It can not exist without workers and consumers who are mathematically and scientifically literate.
If you are searching for sacred knowledge and not just a palliative for your fears, then you will train yourself to be a good skeptic.
And what greater might do we possess as human beings than our capacity to question and to learn?