We may not often think of the role imagination plays in our society and in our everyday lives. Without imagination, would the internet exist? Would Edison have invented the light bulb? Would primitive man have invented the wheel?
Literature is a field where the imagination is encouraged to run freely. Science fiction in particular pushes the imagination to its limits. UC San Diego recently created a center devoted to this creative aspect of our minds, dedicated to the very imaginative author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke.
Sadly, we learned today that Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, UC San Diego Professor Emeritus, and an advocate for science education, passed away at her home in San Diego. She was 61.
The UC San Diego campus, where Ride became Professor of Physics in 1989, is already relatively quiet this summer break, but the news of Ride’s premature passing due to pancreatic cancer has created a more somber tone. Her loss will obviously also be felt at the San Diego-based company she founded, Sally Ride Science, which provided science education materials and assistance to teachers and schools.
In February 2011, Ride visited UC Berkeley to deliver the UC Berkeley Physics Regent’s Lecture titled “Reach for the Stars with Sally Ride.” In the talk, which aired on UCSD-TV last April, Ride advocates for a stronger foundation of math and science education by describing her own path into the space program. There’s no better way to honor this distinguished woman’s memory than listening to her heartfelt dream that every student — not just future rocket scientists — learn to love math and science.
Today we remember legendary writer Ray Bradbury, who passed away this week at the age of 91.
A prolific writer who helped elevate the literary reputation of the science fiction genre, Bradbury has also been one of the most popular guests on the “Writer’s Symposium by the Sea” series from Pt. Loma Nazarene University.