My favorite parts of CONTACT (the book, not the movie) deal with Ellie’s fascination with numbers, especially pi. At the alien research center, it is explained that the Universe is a construct of mathematics and can best be understood through mathematical study; that messages to help stellar civilizations understand the Universe are encrypted within the structure of this mathematical Universe by some past high intelligence. As I recall she eventually finds a simple message in base-eight pi around the billionth digit. .And as portrayed in the (humorous) story “Mathenauts,” (Norman Kagan) travel into the Universe is attainable only by those with an advanced, intuitive understanding of Mathematics, because – reality is Mathematics. .Of course quantum theory introduces complexities far beyond what past mathematicians imagined. When humans try to apply science to society, cultural biases inevitably creep in – witness the attempts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to apply Darwinism to race theories and intelligence tests. Economic theory also began its deep mathematical, statistical basis then.