I’m an amateur astronomer who’s in love with our beautiful universe, which the Hubble Space Telescope is so vividly capturing in high-resolution color.
I live in southern Arizona where the night sky is dark, rarely cloudy, and stunningly starry. On a bad night, the Milky Way is a faint fuzz stretching across the sky. On a good night, it’s quite bright, detailing the individual streaks of the Orion and Sagittarius arms.
City dwellers suffer a diminishing view of the millions of stars and nebulae sprinkled across our night sky like tiny jewels. Light pollution is a bane to every astronomer.
My other scientific fascination is the emerging phenomenon of nanotechnology and its impact on Earth’s near future. I have an unshakable belief that another Renaissance is in us — a rebirth of cultural values and modes of living that will arise from a bold, new flowering of that which is best in us: the urge to connect, to create, to collaborate, and to love. As seems true of evolution specifically and generally, it will surely emerge through a messy, painful process that forces us to improve or perish.
I can’t help but believe that our best years are ahead of us, despite the dystopian futures that haunt our storytelling. Some may call my beliefs utopian, but I disagree. Decency, respect, and basic goodness are what it will take to shape a better future, and these are not impossible achievements, not for a person and not for a world.