To commemorate the day that physicists announced a new particle consistent with the Standard Model Higgs boson (posted 4th July 2012).
These days I call myself a photographer; for about 30 years prior to that I tried to persuade computers to do what I wanted them to do. Before that, though, I was (briefly) a scientist (that’s to say, I obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and did a couple of years post-graduate work).
I love science. As Richard Feynman said “[t]he first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool”*.
I love the way science provides a mechanism for avoiding fooling ourselves.
I love the way that some scientists will devote their entire careers to gaining a better understanding of, for example, worms.
I love the way that their work, and that of all the other scientists, has helped us to build up a working model of the whole frikkin’ universe!
I love the fact that each new discovery opens up several new fields of study.
I love the serendipity—you never know where an investigation will ultimately lead.
I love the way it sometimes throws up completely counter-intuitive theories—who needs mind-altering drugs, when you can have quantum mechanics?
I love the sheer awesome majesty that it uncovers—the Hubble Ultra Deep Field is one of the most moving and affecting images that I know of.
I love the way that it can be so stunningly simple—evolution by natural selection is such an easy concept to understand, and yet the process is capable of the most astonishing feats of apparent design.
But what I love most about science is simply this: it works.