It wasn’t Greek to him

written by CHRC
2 · 19 · 20

Today, everyone is convinced that STEM is the only path forward, and certainly the only path into the sciences. But what if you heard the tale of a young man who found his (milky) way to becoming an astrophysicist while studying Ancient Greek?

Not just any astronomer, but one whose research helped a NASA lunar vehicle navigate. 

This past October, I tripped over this Krista Tippett interview with Dr. George Coyne, S.J. and a fellow Jesuit astronomer, who also studied Ancient Greek. I found it fascinating, and upon hearing of Fr. Coyne’s death on February 11, I had to revisit it. 

Coyne’s “stumbling” into astronomy caught my attention because of another unusual journey I heard firsthand. On a flight a few years ago, my seatmate was a world class physicist who had started college as an English major. The university, however, made her take an intro to science course, in which she had NO interest. Yet there, she found poetry in physics, and the world gained someone who could unlock the great mysteries of math, as well as words. Yet in both her case and that of George Coyne, they were able to translate complex math and science into terms that the rest of us could understand—because they both had well rounded backgrounds. 

If we continue to push today’s young people to study only what is practical, and deemed useful for this decade, or even millennium, from what universes might they be kept? Read More Here

Related Posts

Hidden Talents

Hidden Talents

Checking twitter for some of our favorite labor economists, the app declared that Jerry Orbach was trending. Jerry Orbach? Hasn’t he been gone for several years? But funny enough, I had just been talking about how much I loved his portrayal of Lenny Briscoe on “Law...

Labor Day Contemplation

Labor Day Contemplation

Labor Day evokes many images.  For some of us, it’s a time to savor the last days at the beach, perhaps with a good read? Most of us hope to find meaning and purpose in our jobs.  In this era of The Great Reassessment, maybe this is the Labor Day to reconsider our own...