Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Contemplating science

Sandwiched between a morning meeting and my noon class, I was trying hard to put the finishing touches on some visual materials for class.  But I couldn't resist watching the live stream of the Philae landing on the comet.  It brought back memories of watching the space launches when I was a kid, sprawled on a cushion on the floor of the cool basement where our black and white TV lived.  "T minus 10 and holding..."  Dreams of walking on other planets flitted through my head.
And as a scientist, I could imagine the tension in the room,  hoping that all these years of work by so many would be successful!  I loved the way people jumped for joy when it appeared it had landed, and the focus of one of the women on the team who even in that moment, was critically evaluating the data, "The altitude hasn't changed," she murmured to another team member.  (It turns out the lander may have bounced...)

Suddenly my research student was knocking briskly on the door, "Do you have a camera?  There's an osprey in the courtyard!" It wasn't an osprey, but a large red-tailed hawk perched on the light outside my office.  It seemed quite unperturbed by our presence, more intent on finding a snack in the leaves.

I love drinking deeply of the created world, I love the way science pulls me into wonder and joy.

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