100 Colorado Creatives: Dr. David Grinspoon, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
WW: What's one scientific trend you want to see die this year?
DG: I'm tired of reading about how once we just discover this one more elusive sub-subatomic particle we will have finally discovered the secret to everything. What I expect is that when we find it we will then learn that there are 15 more elusive particles that we just need to discover to understand the secret to everything.
Also, many scientists are abusing the media these days and doing "Science by press release" where they go for a big headline about work that would be exciting if verified, but that has not yet run the rapids of peer review. This causes a lot of public misunderstanding and leaves big messes for the rest of us to clean up.
There, that is two trends.
WW: What's your day job?
DG: My day job and my night job are one and the same. I suppose my "day job" is those bureaucratic and clerical parts of my work life that are tedious but unavoidable.
WW: A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
DG: I'd quit most of my institutional affiliations, pay somebody to do stuff I find tedious and otherwise continue what I'm doing -- planetary research, writing, speaking, communicating, trying to combine music and art and science in different ways. OK, well, I'd probably also buy a few more guitars, take some fun trips with my friends and get a beach house with hot springs and a private rocket-car.
WW: What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts and sciences?
DG: Stop asking me all these questions and let me get back to work.
No, seriously, we should start taxing churches and have tax-exempt places for worship and study of nature and art. Charge ten bucks for Sunday services and make the Botanic Gardens free.
WW: So, IS there art on other planets?