Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Science getting in the way of life, and vice versa

Sorry it has been so long between posts...even my boss is complaining!

I have been up to my eyeballs in "science" meaning the stuff you do to dress up and publicize your work, when important people are watching.  My real science has been waiting patiently on the back burner, hoping that I will be able to attend to it soon.

My current "science" project is attending a national meeting in Anaheim. Yes Disneyland. Going there tomorrow, today was spent at talks...

More specifically a symposium dedicated to one of my mentors, who has won a presitigious award. He helped put together a fantasy league of a session. Great talks, all day, mostly on topics that I adore.This session was also striking for another reason.

Life doesn't always yeild to the rigors or our work. Life says No. One of the most moving talks was given by a recently bereaved husband, for his wife.  He gushed with enthusiasm for the excellence of his late wife's work, and when he reached the last slide, there was a collective intake of breath as he hesitated, as if saying goodbye all over again. His love for his wife and his love for their work was so beautiful, and so touching.

A good friend of mine was giving a retrospective talk, later on in this same session, and he reached a crystal structure that he has collaborated on with a good friend, who had since passed.  There was another pause, as if the whole audience and the speaker were all giving a collective moment of silence. It was a poignant reminder that our science , our discoveries and triumps, will live on in the minds of those who carry on, and those who follow after.

Scientists are often portrayed, in the media and entertainment realms,  as cold and removed characters, who have no feelings for theri common man. The palpable emotion and humanity today destroyed any vestige of that fallacy.

I will have more from the lovely OC, I promise.


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