Sudden Realization

I was wrestling with the problem of balancing maths with words yesterday when it struck me out of the blue what was wrong with the Star Treks.

Not that there isn’t a lot wrong with them but they are a lot better than the Star Wars.

No slavery, for one thing.

Anyway, it struck me that if you were going out exploring new places and societies that you needed a ship’s mathematician.

Not a chief science officer. Maths isn’t science. Real maths that is, not applied stuff. And perhaps more important, science isn’t maths. Partly yes, but scientists who think like mathematicians aren’t scientists. 

So you need a mathematician for the way he/she thinks and uses maths.

While it smacks of a shtick ala “Jews in Space”, you need mathematicians on exploratory space ships in addition to scientists.

I only recall one science fiction story about mathematicians in space and it isn’t this. It was written by Isaac Asimov and it was a Lije Bailey murder story about who killed the old mathematician? Not at all the same thing.