I’m sure it’s no secret to any of you who work in the process and manufacturing industries that science and mathematics are inexorably linked to what you and your organization do on a daily basis. 

Of equal importance is the fact that the American economy is hinged, to a large extent, on the contributions science and math make to our industrial complex.

Manufacturing has the largest multiplier of all sectors of the economy. Every dollar in final sales in manufacturing products supports $1.37 in other sectors of the economy. 

“Industrial innovation is increasingly based on the results and techniques of scientific research. That research, in turn, is both underpinned and driven by mathematics.  .  .  .  industrial innovation is increasingly based on the results and techniques of scientific research. This connection is especially strong in areas where innovation is contributing to the well-being of society, such as health, security, communications, and environmental stewardship. The search for new life-saving drugs, the development of high-performance materials, and the protection of sensitive ecosystems – all of these application-oriented activities, and many others, are strongly dependent on fundamental research, and that research is inextricably linked to mathematics. The remarkable development of the natural sciences and engineering since the Renaissance is a consequence of the fact that all natures known laws can be expressed as mathematical equations.”  (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Global Science Forum Report on Mathematics in Industry

Thinking of the homage we owe the scientists and mathematicians throughout our society, I was deeply moved by a poem The Washington Post published last week.  It is the work of Jane Hirshfield, a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.
The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees.
Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
began posting facts.
The facts were told not to speak
and were taken away.
The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.
Now it was only the rivers
that spoke of the rivers,
and only the wind that spoke of its bees,
while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees
continued to move toward their fruit.
The silence spoke loudly of silence,
and the rivers kept speaking,
of rivers, of boulders and air.
Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless,
the untested rivers kept speaking.
Bus drivers, shelf stockers,
code writers, machinists, accountants,
lab techs, cellists kept speaking.
They spoke, the fifth day,
of silence.


It would be a mistake to read “politics” into this issue.  We all should be on the same page.

Science and mathematics have given all of us the means to a better life — and, they have done so throughout history.  We can thank them for the life style afforded us, the medical discoveries that contribute to our well being, and the opportunities to extend our knowledge.

More on Monday  –  –  –

  — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

     April 19, 2017  (Mondays & Wednesdays)



(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)