This article appears in the May 15, 2020 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Schiller Institute Conference on the Internet
April 25-26, 2020
Mankind’s Existence Now Depends on the Establishment of a New Paradigm!
For a Better Understanding of How Our Universe Functions
We present here a report on the second panel of the April 25-26 Schiller Institute conference. The audience was presented with a process of deliberation among scientists, astronauts, doctors and policy makers speaking about their explorations of humanity’s relationship to the universe—a universe guided by creative and moral principles. Underlying all of the contributions by the various participants, was a passionate commitment to the future development of humanity. Coming from all corners of this Earth, each participant expressed the importance of international collaboration for solving the immense problems facing humanity today. A video of the Panel is available here.
Taking place as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world’s population, the panel’s discussion—on the importance of scientific discovery and international cooperation in human advancement—could not have been timelier, nor more urgent.
The opening tone was set with an excerpt from a speech delivered by Lyndon LaRouche to a 2000 Schiller Institute conference in which he spoke about his proposal, which in March 1983 became President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), that was designed to be a science driver program akin to President Kennedy’s Apollo Program. LaRouche intended that the collaboration between the United States and the Soviet Union around the SDI would spearhead an international effort to develop industrial and technological progress throughout Asia, Africa and Ibero-America. LaRouche stated:
... [A]nd if we focused upon developing countries—South America, Africa, Asia—to do what Roosevelt proposed be done for these countries, had he not died, then the benefit of such a program would put—two things: would put the two economies back on the plus side, together with Europe; and it would also be a way of creating a global agenda which would solve the conflict problem. Now, that was the SDI, in original form….
Leading off the panel was a joint presentation, “In Defense of the Human Species,” by associates from the LaRouche PAC Science Research Team—Jason Ross, Benjamin Deniston and Megan Beets.
Other participants included Jean-Pierre Luminet, PhD, astrophysicist and emeritus researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research, who spoke on “The Role of ‘Free Invention’ in Creative Discovery”; Michel Tognini, an Astronaut and founding member of the Association of Space Explorers, speaking on “Friendship Between Astronauts: An Exemplary Precedent for International Cooperation”; Walt Cunningham, Apollo Astronaut, on “Apollo 7: An Astronaut’s Reflections”; Marie Korsaga, PhD, astrophysicist from Burkina Faso, on “The Necessity of Science Education for African Youth”; Sen. Joe Pennacchio, New Jersey State Senator, on “Making Nuclear Fusion a Reality”; William Happer, PhD, and Professor Emeritus of Physics, Princeton University, on “The Inside Story of Contemporary Science”; Dr. Kildare Clarke, a New York physician who discussed the implications of the take-down of the public health system in the United States; and Guangxi Li, MD, PhD, Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, on “Chinese Medicine Treatment of COVID-19.”
LaRouche’s Science Team:
How Our Universe Functions
Jason Ross, co-author on the Schiller Institute’s recent draft program addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, “LaRouche’s ‘Apollo Mission’ to Defeat the Global Pandemic: Build a World Health System Now!” opened the panel by presenting the paradox of a human species which has accomplished stunning creative breakthroughs in the Apollo Program, atomic science, and quantum physics, now being held hostage to the global COVID-19 pandemic. How did this happen?
Benjamin Deniston then raised the question of additional threats to the human species. He referenced the 2011 offer by the Russian government for the Strategic Defense of the Earth (SDE), which was an obvious reference to LaRouche’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDE). The Russian proposal for the SDE would include asteroid defense and research into various aspects of other immediate considerations for life in our solar system like “space weather,” such as galactic influences and the solar system’s electromagnetic activity, and how that may affect geological events and life on this planet. Despite the urgency of international collaboration on the SDE, this proposal has yet to be taken up.
Picking up where Deniston left off, Megan Beets went on to describe the issue of space weather, saying:
In reality, there is nothing local or even merely planetary about the weather. Our Earth and the other planets in the solar system swim in an environment created by the Sun. One feature of that environment is the solar wind, which is a constant flux of charged particles streaming out from the Sun, which creates the interplanetary magnetic field, and modulates Earth’s magnetic field. Why is this important? Because the Sun is a dynamic body; it is changing! And we are mere babies in our understanding of it.
Beets also addressed the issue of viruses and bacteria and that perhaps these may have cyclical issues as well:
Not only do pandemics tend to occur more frequently during periods of solar maximum, but they tend to cluster around periods when solar maxima are more intense. We also have the anomalous years of pandemic during solar minimum. Studies were done which showed a very interesting fact, which is that these years were also years during which the Earth received a higher influx of cosmic radiation from galactic sources, due to—among other causes—bright supernovae. But a question mark left by these researchers was, what is the mechanism? This is unanswered. It is known that viruses can be activated and deactivated by certain frequencies of light. It’s also been observed in many astronauts on the International Space Station, that virus infections that were latent would suddenly become active again. While all of this research is still quite preliminary, and requires further investigation, it is undeniable that the anomalies that I’ve hinted at here point to a higher causality.
A Discussion of Theoretical Aspects of the Universe
Jean-Pierre Luminet, PhD, astrophysicist, emeritus researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research in France, presented his views on the history of the development of scientific thought, and his approach to creative thought. Luminet said that his work in modern theoretical physics, “which seeks to unify the laws of gravitation and quantum mechanics,” was ultimately based on a philosophical and poetic approach:
Deciphering the fragments of reality under the foam of the stars is to detach oneself from the limits of the visible, to free ourselves from customary deceptive representations, without ever forgetting that the fertility of the scientific approach is watered from underground by other disciplines of the human spirit such as art, poetry, music, and philosophy.
Will Happer, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, who also spent time on President Trump’s National Security Council, presented his views on the process of scientific discovery, which he provocatively described as often occurring by accident. Happer referred to Enrico Fermi’s “discovery” of transuranic elements as the product of his bombarding of uranium and thorium with neutrons. For this “discovery,” he won the Nobel Prize. What he had actually done, was to achieve nuclear fission, as Lise Meitner and her team in Berlin showed a few years later. (The byproducts of the fission were elements that were already known.) Nuclear fission, Happer pointed out, was thus an accidental discovery.
Marie Korsaga, PhD, an astrophysicist originally from Burkina Faso, spoke next. Korsaga said that the purpose of her research “is to study how dark matter is distributed inside galaxies in order to better understand the formation and evolution of our universe, and therefore, the origin of life on Earth.” She went on to say that beyond her research, she is interested in the development of scientific institutions in Africa, and education more broadly. She referred to the fact that “according to the African Union, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with more than 40 percent of its people under the age of 15.” Korsaga said that this was “a huge advantage for the nations of Africa if there is education and economic development for these young people”
Science in Action
It was left to two astronauts, Michel Tognini and Walt Cunningham, to “bring to life” the importance of the science driver principle, through describing their experiences in actually participating in the missions expressed by that principle.
Walt Cunningham was an astronaut on the Apollo VII mission, and is a recipient of NASA’s highest award, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. In response to a question about his reflections on John F. Kennedy’s Rice University speech in 1962, where Kennedy laid out the ambitious mission to make it to the Moon in the next decade, Cunningham said that it was only as he got older that he was able to put it into perspective. At the time, he “thought it was a good speech,” but it was much more than that. “Now, it’s something that goes down in history, and I think it’s because at the time, our minds were not working quite the same way. You’ve got to let your mind mature in order to get the perspective on what’s going on historically.”
Cunningham then made the comparison to the first voyages to sail around the world:
They moved our society forward.... That was 500 years ago. The society in the world benefits from [you] being willing to stick your neck out, but not doing it wildly. You’ve got to be committed to what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m sure I feel I can speak a lot more about that now than I ever did at the time, because you’ve got to get wise.
French Astronaut Michel Tognini focused on the importance of space exploration as a domain of international collaboration. Tognini is a test pilot, engineer, and former astronaut at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in France. He has logged a total of 19 days in space aboard the Soyuz, the MIR station, the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station. He stated:
What did I learn from this cooperation with Russia and with NASA? I learned humility. And I think humility is really important for an astronaut, and also for us to truly understand that life itself is very fragile. As someone said before, we could be hit by a comet or an asteroid any time, and we need to have a plan to fight against an asteroid or a comet. And the only way to fight this danger is to work together. In the Association of Space Explorers, where we have several different countries joined together and different astronauts from these countries, we have a plan to study every year, the way to deflect an asteroid from Earth … And the second question is how to go to the Moon and Mars. I strongly believe that slowly, we need to cooperate together, even with China and India, because they have very good potential for a program in space. And the example of the International Space Station is an example that could be applied to the whole world.
Science in Medicine
This section of the panel included Guangxi Li, from the Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, and Dr. Kildare Clarke, a physician from New York who shared his insights into the implications of the takedown of the public health system in the United States. Dr. Clarke was also involved in the LaRouche-led fight in the 1990s to save D.C. General Hospital from closure. He stated:
The powers-that-be think it is best for them to look at healthcare as a numbers game, like playing with widgets on Wall Street. But people’s lives are not widgets; they’re human beings. Without them, there is no world. And it is incumbent upon us, as healthcare providers to make that message go through loud and clear! We might have to give up a lot! We might be fired from our jobs, we might be thrown in prison! But it’s a cause which is so indelible in my mind, that we must do it, and do it for the good of society. It’s not a personal thing, it’s for the good of society.
Dialogue on Youth and Education
In a dialogue that developed later in the panel, Will Happer took up the importance of education for youth, in a broader dialogue on policy.
New Jersey State Senator Joe Pennacchio, who has put forward legislation for the development of fusion, also weighed in concerning the importance of providing visionary policy for the future of young people. In response to a question about high school students who were present for the public hearing on his legislation promoting fusion, and the importance of this work for their future, Pennacchio responded:
It’s as much for their future as it is for mine. I’m 65 years old: My future is not measured in too many decades, if God is willing. But their future is measured in an awful lot more decades than I am. So again, imagine a clean, safe, renewable energy source, where we don’t have to go to war with each other to get it, and we don’t have to worry about breathing in some of the gases which may be harmful in the production of those energies.
Happer also weighed in, in the discussion of federal policy, discussing his time on the Trump Administration’s National Security Council. He had been part of a team investigating the arguments on the validity of anthropogenic climate change. The team was ultimately shuttered due to pressure exerted by the climate change lobby. Happer went on to describe how “climate change” is impervious to criticism:
You cannot criticize it. It’s like denying some religious belief. In fact, it’s interesting: The language that they use is all religious. “You’re denying climate.…” Well, what does “denying” mean? Why are you using that word in connection with a scientific field? So, it has all the trappings of a religious cult, and that’s what it has become for many people. There are exceptions; there are honest climate scientists, but they’re deluded by many cultists.