Skipping the 20th Century pg. 4
“The international bonds of trust and collegiality and friendship that come out of these research collaborations are likely to be the foundation for other abilities we’ll have in the future to push the boundaries of science… and (they won’t be) limited to HIV.”
The Internet can be a humbling experience for U.S. researchers, who are accustomed to being at the pinnacle of scientific achievement.
“That sensitivity of knowing instantly how other people interpret what we’re doing is a very important component of good citizenship in a global knowledge economy,” he says, “and I think also a healthy form of humility.
“National chauvinism doesn’t really suit us very well in a world where what we do dramatically affects others, and what they do dramatically affects us on an hour-to-hour basis.
“… So this shrinking globe, propelled by competing communications technologies, is probably the single greatest force at work I think in our society,” Masys concludes. “It’s done more to transform the nature of business and the nature of government and the nature of political forces than anything that has preceded it.
“It’s rightly viewed as a tremendous threat to totalitarian regimes, where controlling the flow of ideas is essential to maintaining one’s power base.
“It’s funny,” he wonders, “if we had the Internet somehow magically appearing in antiquity, would we have even invented countries?”