Science talent redirected
“Is Science Talent Squandered?” (SN: 5/31/97, p. 338)
sent me into a reverie of my precollege days. Having
achieved, at 10 years of age, minor celebrity status in
Nation’s Business by inventing a “new” cotton picker,
having burned holes in my parents’ basement ceiling with
my huge Gilbert chemistry set, and having been given a
key to the high school lab to conduct my own experiments
on weekends, I knew I would be a scientist.
Then came college and the public denigration (in an
introductory chemistry class) of my poetic expression of
the practical application of combustion. Literary and
artistic teachers and friends enjoyed my “weird”
presentation, so I joined their ranks instead, achieving
modest adult recognition as a writer but still finding my
real reading interest in science.
If I had found a Carl Sagan some 40 years ago, I might be
in a different college in my university today, but perhaps
with different regrets.
F. Richard Thomas, Professor of American Thought and Language,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.
[Science News, 26 July 1997, vol. 152]V.67 - O artigo intitulado “Is Science