Home
Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Advertising
Summer school
Top issues
Abortion
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
Economy
Environment
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Nudge
Obesity
Parents and kids
Population
USA
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Letters
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
survey

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
James E Enstrom
research professor and epidemiologist at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the University of California in Los Angeles


Several factors in my formative years inspired me to take up science. I learned about Albert Einstein, whose major discoveries in physics were so important that he was named ‘Person of the Century’ in 1999 by Time magazine. In October 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik 1, the first manmade satellite to be put into orbit. This immediately emphasised to Americans the value of science. Most importantly, two talented and dedicated teachers at my public high school taught me the fundamentals of mathematics and physics.

My honours mathematics and science fair project, on ‘Self-developed formulas to yield primitive Pythagorean triples’, gave me the thrill of discovering simple mathematical formulae. My honours physics class introduced me to important physical phenomena, such as charge-to-mass ratio and Robert Millikan’s oil-drop experiment. These two subjects involving the electron were the basis for Joseph Thomson’s 1906 Nobel Prize and Robert Millikan’s 1923 Nobel Prize.

Looking back, my inspiration was fairly similar to that of the West Virginia boys in Joe Johnston’s wonderful 1999 film October Sky, and that of the writer Michael Crichton – who eloquently described in his 2003 lecture Aliens cause global warming how ‘science represented the best and greatest hope for mankind’.