A Scientific Challenge
Proposed: Development of a grand ecological unified theory, integrating the physical, biological, environmental, social, information and economic sciences.
To date, ecology is still a marginalized scientific concept, applied primarily to biology and the earth environment, and distractingly argued against when extended to other realms of natural order or 'care of household'. If our often stated desires for sustainability are to be at all realized, they will have to be based upon more pragmatic understandings of the dynamic interrelationships and interdependencies of complex evolving systems, from micro to human to macro scale. Only then may we begin to construct life-serving organizational, political, educational and economic systems that also take into account the evolutionary development of human understanding, beliefs, emotions, dynamic differences and failings, that will better help to guide us from where we have come to where we are going.
"Big Science", ever seeking the elusive 'unified theory' has lost its sense of perspective. While our 'best and brightest' explore inner and outer spaces, local to global, earth-scale actions and effects are becoming increasingly jeopardized. Science will only be more accepted and supported by people when it takes on the ultimate challenge of this most humane dilemma.
Science must work to develop a fundamental ecological theory of matter-energy-information relationships, as the basis for a more intelligent system of economic valuation. Our economic systems must more adequately account for the day to day experiences and needs of life on earth: from the delicate balances and chaotic turbulence of energy and information flows; to war, peace and processes to settle human conflicts arising from dangerously myth-understood beliefs about territorialism, property ownership, consumption, work, waste processing and life affirming irreconcilable differences. This daunting task takes us to the fearful heart of complexity; yet not to take certain altruistically necessary revolutionary actions, makes us accomplices to progressively self-consuming crimes against nature.
Constructing, supporting and conveying a global, lifelong, bottom-up educational framework that spreads the word, while respecting the differences counter to its acceptance, is our equally grand challenge and requirement.
Ultimately, a grand ecological unified theory would move our understandings, actions and intents beyond the defined limits of science; to a most controversial, yet most important goal of the information society: demosophia (people wisdom) and an 'ecology of mind'.