Tuesday, November 11, 2003

25 Years of Science Times

It happened right after I started high school in suburban New Jersey, the start of the Science Times section in Tuesday's New York Times. The Science Times not only helped get me excited about science but made me feel others could get excited over science as well. I've kept reading it off and on during these past 25 years. The Science Times has reported on a fair amount of research in complexity and theoretical computer science, for a time some joked that a result was not important until it appeared in the New York Times.

Today the New York Times celebrates the 25th Anniversary Issue of the Science Times. It features 25 questions such as Does Science Matter? and What Is the Most Important Problem in Math Today? (Hint: It's not P versus NP).

I'll end this post with a quote from the essay of Alan Lightman:
All of the scientists I've known have at least one quality in common: they do what they do because they love it, and because they cannot imagine doing anything else. In a sense, this is the real reason a scientist does science. Because the scientist must. Such a compulsion is both blessing and burden. A blessing because the creative life, in any endeavor, is a gift filled with beauty and not given to everyone, a burden because the call is unrelenting and can drown out the rest of life.

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