Danko Antolovic is a scientist and technologist whose professional activities and publications include research in quantum chemistry and computational modelling of molecules, research in solar energy for space applications, design of systems for image analysis and robotic vision, and development of wireless communication technology. He is the author, most recently, of the monograph “Radiolocation in Ubiquitous Wireless Communication” (Springer, 2010), and of the novella "My Name is Daedalus" (Straylight Magazine, November 2016).
When did you first start writing?
I am not a writer by profession. Most of my writings have been technical and scientific, and I have done that kind of writing for a good long while. I have recently tried my hand at non-technical writing, because I think that the general public and the scientists need to understand each other and communicate better.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I have spent many years in scientific research and in technology development. These disciplines have transformed our world, and we take their gifts for granted, as if they were bestowed upon us by magic; it is telling that in literature we already make very little distinction between magical fiction and science fiction.
My latest book is a collection of essays, titled “Whither Science?” and in it I attempt to lift the veil of magic from the practice of science. What motivates people to do science? What do they get out of it, and at what price? What does society get out of it? We trust the scientific method almost like a modern oracle, but why do we think it worthy of our trust? And yes, the view of the world that science has opened to us is rich and fascinating, but has it given us a worldview, a sense of the world as a place in which we can belong with our hearts as well as with our intellects?
Lastly, science has changed our world and given us enormous power, yet we humans have remained the same all along. Is that a tenable prospect for the future, or is something bound to break? We have choices to make for this future of ours, and I am convinced that science will have to, and will be able to, guide us in making ourselves worthy of the power that it has given us.
In these essays we explore basic dilemmas facing contemporary science. We look at science's history, question its practices and ask about its potential. We examine the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific method, and we seek to understand the worldview that follows from that method. Lastly, we inquire about the future of science, and about problems that science urgently needs to solve.