BSB #100   from J. Morris Hicks   (7-16-17)    In Search of "Big Picture" Scientists

Crucial Importance of "Big Picture" Scientists
by J. Morris Hicks

A Little Background. After earning a BS in Industrial Engineering in 1968 from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Hawaii in 1971, I began a lengthy career split between engineering, profit-improvement consulting and several senior level general management roles in a few large corporations. 

In all areas of my varied career to date, I have followed my engineering training, always striving to understand the "big picture" of any "system" before deciding which changes would be best for the overall effectiveness of that system.

What about "big picture" scientists? After researching the sustainability of our ecosystem, our civilization and the human species since 2002, I have concluded that there are very few "big picture" scientists who have a solid grasp of how our ecosystem works and how human activities impact the health and future of that ecosystem that supports our existence.

Why is that? It's because the vast majority of scientists are educated, and then specialize, in one narrow field for their entire careers. And while they may pay attention to other fields and state their opinions from time to time, they simply don't have the broad, "big picture" expertise to speak authoritatively on the direct connection between human activities today and their increasing threat to our longterm survival. 

As I have said many times before, those "human activities" could very well be the "most important topic in the history of humanity." After all, what could be more important to humans than the longterm survival of the human species?

Call to Action. In order to learn what humans must do so that we can co-exist in harmony with nature indefinitely, we desperately need to understand and take action on the alarming findings and conclusions of the world's small cadre of "big picture" scientists.

My definition of "Big Picture" Scientists

I think of it as a six-spoke wheel with the hub being a solid educational background, such as a PhD in Physics from a well regarded institution. Building on that foundation, those few who share these six characteristics appear to qualify as "big picture" scientists:
  1. Credibility earned from peer-reviewed body of work
  2. Creativity, thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo
  3. Courage, not afraid to take risks or make bold statements when warranted
  4. Dreams and Details, they are doers--not just thinkers
  5. Intellectual Curiosity beyond their own specialty--always trying to figure out what is most important
  6. Fate, Luck or Opportunity (being at the right place at the right time)
Why are "big picture" scientists so important?. Because I truly believe that they are the only people in the world who are capable of figuring out what actions are most important to human survival AND recommending how we should go about implementing those actions--ASAP. 

James Lovelock is one of those "big picture" scientists that I featured in BSB #99 last week. In this short quote, he explains the essence of his Gaia Hypothesis describing the Earth as a self-regulating system:

"There is no morality about it; if the Earth improves as a result of our presence, then we will flourish. If it doesn't, then we will die off." -- James Lovelock, PhD

So all we must do to survive indefinitely is like what I have been saying since 2003--the tagline for this website, the heart and soul of my first book and my primary mission for the rest of my life. We must engage relentlessly in...

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth 

One Slide from my Latest PPT Talk

A Common Conclusion. Since February of 2017, I have identified and researched six other individuals who qualify, according to my definition, as "big picture" scientists. Alarmingly, most seem to agree that our civilization as we know it will likely collapse before the end of this century.

That's a very tough pill for me or anyone else to swallow. Therefore, as stated above, I still cling to the hope that these "big picture" scientists can soon be heard and that their conclusions will be urgently acted upon by many of the world's most powerful leaders. That small cadre of "big picture" scientists simply must be heard--before it's too late. 

Importantly, we can all participate in urgently raising the level of global awareness necessary to prevent the unthinkable fate for our species that some "big-picture" scientists have predicted.  For more on Dr. Lovelock, watch for my next BSB to be published on July 19, exactly one week before he turns 98.

To view all 64 slides in my latest presentation, click on the link below. Other upcoming talks include Ithaca, NY, in September, Ontario (Canada) in the Fall, Fort Myers, Florida, in January and Honolulu in April. 

Finally, please let me know if you'd like for me to make a presentation at a venue near you.

Be well,  J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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