13.7: Cosmos And Culture Commentary On Science And Society

"Untitled" by Mark Rothko, on display before auction at Sotheby's, New York, in May. Does its value stem from its pedigree? Or is it valuable because of its contribution to the ongoing dialog that is human expression through the ages? Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

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The Star-Spangled Banner — the flag that inspired our National Anthem — on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Hugh Talman/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History hide caption

itoggle caption Hugh Talman/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

In the quest to understand our world and the universe in which it sits, Marcelo Gleiser advises: "Not all questions have answers. To hope that science will answer all questions is to want to shrink the human spirit, clip its wings, rob it from its multifaceted existence." Goddard/Arizona State University/NASA hide caption

itoggle caption Goddard/Arizona State University/NASA

A 2012 installation in the small Italian village of Corigliano d'Otranto celebrates the philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and their search for a better way of life. Carlo Hermann/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Carlo Hermann/AFP/Getty Images

A computer designed by hobbyists to look like a brain on display at a Berlin fair in 2012. What happens when we go from crude models to complete working simulations of this all-important organ? Britta Pedersen/DPA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Britta Pedersen/DPA/AFP/Getty Images