Science is an amazing form of thought leadership.
I’m eager to see the new JWST photos,
but I’m thinking back almost fifty years
to why I fell in love with astronomy.
The photo below is from Pioneer 10
making the first visit to Jupiter in late 1973.
and revealing the majesty of the gas giant.
I recall seeing this photo as a child.
and realizing how much there was
beyond what I could see with my own eyes.
The world was wide and wonderous.
And the heavens even greater.
Yes, in 1977, I thought Star Wars was cool.
But NASA was far more amazing.
Because the scientists made the invisible, visible.
They showed what was out there.
And encouraged us to
look “up in perfect silence at the stars.”*
I didn’t become an astrophysicist.
But I keep that joy in my heart.
And I strive to make the invisible, visible.
It’s generations of persistent questioning
of seeking new solutions to tough challenges
that have expanded humanity’s sight.
And today, I’m celebrating the work of the
scientists on the JWST as well as
many generations of scientists before.