Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rediscovering Science

I wrote this 15 months ago as an opening to an essay:

“The progress is remarkable,” my friend Greg, a prominent researcher, tells me over lunch at a restaurant. “We’ve … blah blah unintelligible words … the genome of … so many, many more unfamiliar words.”

I stare at him.

How long has it been since I’ve heard a sentence like that?

He spears some romaine and secures it on his fork with a ribbon of chilled sirloin. I blink.

This is Greg, I remind myself—the first person I met on our first day of pharmacy school, nearly thirty years ago.

And now in his whole sentence, I recognize only the one word.

My eyes sting and I look down at my bowl of soup.

I miss science.
Since then, I’ve subscribed to science magazines, devoured fascinating new science books and published half a dozen science articles and shorts.

And yesterday, I reconnected with an amazing source of inspiration: my college organic chem professor—an intelligent, animated man renown for the funnest classes; a creative scientist who applied forensic chemistry decades before CSI. In a 30-minute phone call, we batted so much energy back and forth that I think our cell phones gained charge.

Ain’t life grand?

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