FIZIKA A 8 (1999) 4 , 205-214

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MODERN PHYSICS IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY

DAVOR PAVUNA External collaborator of the Institute of Physics, Bijenička 46, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Department of Physics

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Dedicated to Professor Boran Leontić on the occasion of his 70th birthday

Received 15 November 1999; revised manuscript received 30 March 2000
Accepted 10 April 2000

Successes of modern physics and consequent technologies have enabled humanity to create our global village. However, despite their thorough training and proven, useful knowledge, physicists are nowadays often treated as a relatively inexpensive 'commodity'. Encouraged by experience of several former students, and by using selected examples, I argue that as a community we should better 'market' our physics profession that, in addition to its primary role - rational understanding of nature - provides: i) the most versatile undergraduate degree, also for those who want to continue studies in management, economy or bio-medicine; ii) fascinating creative opportunities in advanced research and new interdisciplinary technologies and iii) often more relevant insight into workings of the global economy than the 'conventional' economic approach, and especially into smart venture-investments. All these themes are equally relevant for the Croatian society and its welfare in the early 21st century.

PACS numbers: 01.75.+m, 01.10.Hx, 89.90.+n
UDC 53.06

Keywords: physics profession, training, useful knowledge, understanding of nature, advanced research, interdisciplinary technologies, smart venture-investment
Copyright by The Croatian Physical Society
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