My dear friend Ryan Brown has a post up, #Iamscience, or how I got involved in space rocks, that I’d like you all to read. Especially those of you who don’t think you’re cut out for a life in science. Especially those of you who are afraid of math. Especially those of you who think you’re already stuck on a particular path. Here’s a taste:
I wasn’t a science and math genius as a kid. What I had were parents who recognized my interest in astronomy and bought me a cheap little Tasco telescope from Wal-Mart. I don’t remember if it was for my birthday or for Christmas. All I remember was the excitement of breaking out that 2.4 inch refractor from the box and setting it up without looking at the directions. I’m not prone to hyperbole, but let me say what a glorious gift that was! I remember cruising the Pleiades and Orion’s Nebula during the cold Missouri winters. Summer vacation was spent traipsing through the Summer Triangle in the Milk Way. Jupiter and its dancing moons became a nightly game of guess-which-moon-is-which as they conspired in their galactic version of musical chairs. And then there was Saturn. If ever there was a “holy shit” moment in my young life, it came from stumbling across the queen of the Solar System.
I think most of us had that love for science as kids. The trick is to reclaim it as adults, and hold on to it even when it’s tough and you want to quit. Ryan has. Have you?