February 3rd, 2012

politics

Writer's Block: School Ties

I hardly ever answer these, but this one caught my attention.

My undergraduate degree was in Natural Sciences, specialising in astrophysics at the end. My undergraduate dissertation was a literature survey of the Comic Microwave Background Radiation and the Origin of the Universe.

My career is now in international politics. So it is fair to say that the two fields are not intimately related. I can count the number of fellow astrophysics graduates I have met in my current line of work on the fingers of one finger (the then chief of staff of the president of an Eastern European country).

And yet, it does make a difference. I know that the numbers need to add up; I know that all processes have a beginning and and end (and hopefully a middle); I know that entropy is always inclined to increase; I know that patterns you find in one place are quite likely to repeat elsewhere, and that describing and even predicting them is not always the same as explaining them away.

And on cold, clear winter nights I can go out and look at the sky, and I know my stars.