In my opinion, people who work in the sciences and are considered great geniuses are far down the genius scale from people who deal with society. Einstein, Bohr, and Darwin are down below tenth position on my scale. In my top ten are Adam Smith, John Locke, Sigmund Freud, Milton Friedman, Shakespeare, Max Weber, Baruch Spinoza, Alexander Hamilton and Joyce Appleby.
Therefore it should be no surprise that the recent call by Steven Hawking for new human colonies off the earth comes thirty years after I formed the International Committee for a New Planet. Hawking, the scientist, is behind the times compared to a humble unknown social activist from San Francisco.
My organization was formed in 1971, had more than 100 members from around the world and put on a widely attended conference in 1974 at Green Gulch in California. I also funded, because of my New Planet Committee, the first work by Gerard O'Neill on the creation of a new planet in earth orbit at Lagrange Points L-3 and L-5.
I concluded, personally, that working on a new planet was a good metaphor for working on this one. Until we know how to get along, new planets won't be socially stable. Based on this observation, I made a prediction publicly before a small group of people entered Biosphere II for a two year test.
In spite of
every effort to keep the news secret, Biosphere II failed because of the social
interaction problems... which I predicted.
The work of social thinkers is far more difficult than anything in science and far, far too undervalued. The former are culturally bound, the later are less so.