Science without Consciousness….

“Science without Consciousness is nothing but the ruin of the soul.” Thus exclaimed Pantagruel by his french author Rabelais. This quote, which is more than 500 years old, has been resonating strongly in my thoughts during my training courses in Human Sciences within the university students.

In polytechnics schools, the academic path of the students is exclusively a scientific path. What is surprising, you will say, since the engineering sciences demand a course in which hard sciences reign, such as mathematics, physics and biology! I myself used these roads.  Where I am more skeptical, it is in many sectors such as health (medicine, physiotherapy, psychomotricity, …) where again in France, it is utmost to get  a “S” – scientific baccalaureat – chain to pass the entrance examinations, while these jobs and functions have vocations to have strong kills and willingnesses for the human relations, equally or even more important than for the technological tasks.
Thus, my life course has led me to identify two major gaps in the “standard” academic programs (secondary and higher education) of the french national education system:
– to learn to learn
to know eachother in order to communicate better with one’s surroundings.
This is why those for whom cognitive capacity is naturally developed to retain easily (logical thinking) succeed more in their educational path than others, for whom learning techniques would be welcome.

Fortunately, I would say it is never “too late” to discover all the power and interest of the soft sciences! training for adults in communication and stress management enable those with the ambition to know themselves better to adapt their behavior with an approach of openness, active listening and goodwill  in the face of difficult situations and thus identify and implement new ones solutions and to be more actor than victim of one’s life, in fine better to live and enjoy every actual moment.
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow, it seems essential to me to acquire key skills in the human sciences, simply by the continuous and still embryonic development of artificial intelligence and robotics. The cashiers and postmen are already replaced by automatic cash registers to successively settle our purchases and post our letters. The unavoidable pervasiveness of automation penetrates fields of greater complexity: driving taxis, trucks, trains without drivers thanks to autonomous vehicles, making a health diagnosis by automatic check-up, managing our bank accounts and financial company statements by artificial intelligence, etc ….
Do not be fooled: a robot will always perform better than us all these operations … some jobs are brought to term (20-30-50 years?) to change significantly and may be for some of them to collapse: banker, taxi, trains and trucks drivers, family doctors, financial accounts etc. On the other hand, the services attached to the person will always require humain presence and intelligence, to which, in my opinion, artificial intelligence will be an assistant but not a manager or decision-maker.
As the french popular singer Gérard Lenorman used to claim when I was a child , “if I were President of the Republic …”, the reform I would introduce into national education would be a questioning of the all-powerful scientific baccalaureats, re-evaluating the humanities and literature very strongly from the first years of college and learning from experience in the company as an essential pillar of skills for the student … our Germans and Italians neighbors understood it having for the first for more than 30 years strongly valued the courses of apprenticeship and for the second declared the literary sciences the channel of excellence for the access to the best universities.
My little finger tells me that the french humanist François Rabelais would not be totally against such educational measures …
Richard, oct.17th 2017


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