Why Do We Need STEM?

Why Do We Need STEM?

With the Coronavirus Pandemic and the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, people may be wondering why we are still investing in the STEM fields when we have so many other problems to solve. There are so many issues all around the world that need resources devoted to them and the STEM fields just seem like a waste. The truth is, even if we see it or not, the STEM fields are allowing us to address these problems easier than ever before. 

The Coronavirus Pandemic has completely changed the way we live, but thanks to advancements in technology, things are slowly returning to normal. Since 1987, brilliant minds like Robert Malone of Salk Institute in California have been dreaming about using Messenger Ribonucleic Acid, also known as mRNA, as a vaccine. The research put into mRNA vaccines may have seemed like a bad investment at the time with the vaccines being too expensive and unstable at times. This was until 2020. Everyone’s lives changed with people dying, and all parts of peoples’ lives changing, but Moderna and Pfizer, two pharmaceutical companies, had the idea of using 33 year old ideas to solve the destructive issue known as COVID-19. The new mRNA vaccines have shown to have an efficacy of up to 97% and it all came from research that was unneeded at the time. 

In early 2022, the minds of many diplomats and politicians were focused on China and their treatment of the Uyghur people. This was due to the heightened tension brought by the Olympics, but while people were focused on China, Russia was preparing troops on Ukraine’s border. On Thursday, February 24th, Russia advanced its troops into Ukrainian territory. Russia was strategic in its timing, not only planning the invasion after the Olympics, but while being President of the United Nations Security Council and during a cloudy time of year. Synthetic Aperture Radar, also known as SAR, has helped observation of the Russian invasion and helped Ukraine plan its defense. Companies like MAXAR and Planet have been investing in the construction and launch of smallsats with SAR. These satellites that have cost large amounts of money that may have been seen as a waste, have helped the people of Ukraine fight back against the Russian Invasion.\

Although this world seems like it’s going to end, and it will eventually, it is important to keep something in mind;  we need to make the best of life while we still have it. A sentiment described by the great Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson that resonates with me is that if life was eternal, why get out of bed today when you could get out of bed tomorrow. Our future is never certain and that is why we need to make the present as good for everyone as possible.