Our first snow of the year arrived last night, so I thought now was a perfect time to look back on summer nights with convertible German sports cars and Bay Area sunsets.
After spending my entire adult life as a laboratory scientist, the web of gas lines and vacuum pumps and electrical cable seems normal. I do understand, rationally, that all of this looks overwhelming. There’s so much purpose and productivity behind the network, however, that it’s worth the sophistication.
I’m interested in how scientists are depicted in media. They seem to always be in one of two modes. Either smiling at the desk with a screen and board filled with data/equations:
Or in the lab, with fancy apparatus and appropriate PPE. This may be real evidence of a sort of dichotomy in the lives of many working scientific professionals: some of the time is spent at a desk, doing the sort of email-answering/paperwork-submitting tasks that are common to many fields, but the rest of the time is spent in a more technical setting. I’d really like to see a broader view of how scientists spend their time. Could the whole breadth of the approach be captured in a single image, like some elaborate Baroque painting?
In the Berkeley Hills, above the National Lab’s Advanced Light Source, the view over Oakland’s twinkling night sprawl entrances. Look at all of those light-emitting objects! As LED lights have replaced sodium vapor models, I’m particularly fascinated in the shift as cities glow white, instead of orange.