Who am I? What gives me the right to write about science?
What gives me the right to write about other people?
Well, I used to be a physicist in the Institute of Physics Polish Academy of sciences, doing some theory of semiconductors. Long time ago, almost fifteen years now. Last physics papers with my name have appeared in the Physical Review around 1994. In between `serious' jobs, during second half of 2003 I have done some simulations of `sociophysics': application of physical methods to social or population biology problems, the results of which were submitted to the arXiv preprint repository.
Does it give me the right to write about science? No, but it gives me a chance to do so.
This marginal capability is further augmented by the existence of th net. Without it, I would be left with just a few (maybe, in my case, `large' few) printed books, but without the ability to follow the chains of debate, to get access to current publications and to classic texts.
It is possible, today, to be reasonably in touch with science's progress. But this possibility requires cusriosity and certain amount of preparation. Work and time.
But - at least for myself - this is definitely worthwhile.
Science's richness and wonderful capability to extend our understanding beyond naive reasoning pays back in sense of wonder comparable to any artistic enterprise. And the sense of drama, in the human side of the discovery, its acceptance or lack of acceptance is to me more enticing than many novels, and certainly more wholesome than most of political issues.