BRITS WEEK IN REVIEW
Last week we wrote about the British scientists who invented radar and plant genetics. The development of radar allowed Britain to defeat Nazi Germany, and was recently used to locate a vast underground lake in the Sudan. Decades of work on strains of wheat resistant to drought and disease has meant life for starving people.
During this same time, Donald Michie used his genius to help break German war codes at Bletchley Park, then spent the next forty years establishing artificial intelligence.
The foundation of this scientific work is British devotion to logical enquiry and experimentation. We suggested that the source of their amazing success was a way of thinking first developed in Ancient Greece and that Christianity nurtured their rational explorations of the world. It may surprise people to find both ideas are true, and closely related.
Imperial College London celebrates its 100th anniversary and its first year as an entirely independent institution. A glance at the College’s recently published scientific papers left me stunned by the number and the achievement on display. I had the impression of vast subterranean rivers of research, which will one day emerge and change our lives forever.
We were glad to see that the Countryside Alliance had named ten ‘heroes’ of rural life. Living in the country always seems charming when viewed on TV, but it is not easy today, and many country people are feeling real hardship. We're aware that it's due to their devotion there is a countryside we can enjoy, and we were glad to see the heroes all looked very happy.
We never come close to naming all the heroes there are. This week the loving parents raising eight adopted children were my heroes.
David’s hero was Clarence Willcock, the owner of a dry cleaning firm who in 1950 was ordered to produce his ID card and refused. He took his case to the highest court, and lost, but the government changed a bad law as a result of his efforts. Clarence will go into our Liberty Timeline. Philip Johnston’s prize-winning essay on freedom, which describes Clarence, is worth reading.
We waxed philosophical on The Queen and an executive power that represented the people and could balance the power of Parliament. We looked again at the BBC’s inability to fulfill the terms of its charter, which require it to be impartial and to present all sides. We laughed at the EU, though it is no laughing matter.
Millions of people have dropped out of sight to read JK Rowling’s seventh and last Harry Potter novel this weekend. Golfers are happy about the weather at the Open, and some of them, led by Sergio Garcia, are happy with their play. Further south, Emergency Services and the Armed Forces are working heroically to help those trapped by severe flooding. May they succeed.
And may your week be good.