A Dream Dinner with Samuel Beckett
Melissa Franklin is the first woman ever to achieve tenure in the Harvard physics department. She is an experimental particle physicist who has been working on the Collider Detector at Fermilab, an experiment designed generally to study the collisions of protons and anti-protons at the highest energies currently possible. In January, she will be working at the new Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
Question: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Melissa Franklin: So, here’s a problem, I just have to tell you right now. Whenever I meet somebody who I really like, I mean who I really admire, I’m a complete idiot at dinner. So, I mean, a complete idiot. So, in a way I would not ever like to go to dinner with anyone. But I have to say that when Samuel Beckett died, I felt like, are you kidding. I was supposed to become your friend, how could you die without that happening. I mean it was just an unspoken idea I had had my whole life that I would meet Samuel Beckett and he would like me and we would become friends. So, but of course, if I did meet him, I’d act like a complete idiot. And I was supposed to meet Feynman, but luckily I didn’t because then I – I don’t have that – you know how people say that pain you can’t remember but embarrassment you can? So, I’m really glad I didn’t meet Feynman because imagine meeting Feynman and then having nothing but love at all energy scales for him and then be an idiot and then remembering that your whole life. So, yeah, I don’t really want to meet these guys at all. But I think I would be less embarrassed by Beckett than Feynman.
October 21, 2009
Physicist Melissa Franklin would love to have a dream dinner with Samuel Beckett or Richard Feynman, but she’s afraid she’d get nervous and make a fool of herself.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.
- Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
- This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
- The treatment could soon be available to the public.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.