I hope that you are all fine. I am pretty sure that you heard about the death of Stephen Hawkings. So, I will dedicate the greatest part of my blog to Stephen Hawkings as a tribute of honor to this bright man and scientist. There are lot of articles that you can find concerning his life and achievements and I will summarize here some important points.
Stephen William Hawking (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking
He was also a symbol of triumph over physical adversity, since he did this work while also fighting a debilitating disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, that attacked his muscle function and ultimately left him confined to a wheelchair, with little independent movement, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/als-disease-affected-scientist-stephen-hawking/story?id=53739268
Hawking achieved something purely remarkable. He brought science close to society. Even if his research field is complicated and abstract for the majority, lot of people use the term “black hole” and may know a few things about it. This was achieved by a number of movies, series and TV shows that deal with his life or his science. In the following link you can find an extended list of them, http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/stephen-hawking/credits/175324/.
Impressively, he even played in The Simpsons (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=84&v=OH8s4N15zdg) or The bing bang theory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=104&v=wlrOKpQ6UBI) crashing all the stereotypes that a scientist have to be serious, anti-social and surly. People involved in academia-research have to understand that the impact of their results is greater when society is involved in it. In this way, I am proud for our FoodSmartphone project that aims to pave the road for Citizen Science, something that is rarely considered in our field.
Some people claim that Hawkings became that renowned because of his decease. Personally, I think that this is only the one side of the coin. He was contracted with ALS in 1963, given two years of life and we discuss now the end of his life in 2018!! The input and remarks of numerous scientists in all the fields are unquestionable. However, I don’t know how many of them (I count me in, because when I have a fever about 37.5 C degrees I am preparing my will) faced the 0.1% of Hawking’s obstacles. In a glance, some lessons to be learnt from his life:
- Don’t stop believing
- Don’t fence yourself in
- Make them laugh
- Life is an imperfect miracle. Cherish it
Last but not least I will cite here some of his quotes (one of them is my title) in order to think and may apply them in our everyday life:
- Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change
- We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special
- My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all
- People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining
All in all, as a young scientist and man I feel obliged to thank Stephen Hawking for this wealth of knowledge, achievements and thoughts that left behind!
During this 11 weeks, I experienced the Czech winter which it was better than I expected. An average temperature of -1 degrees was affordable, with an exception of 10 days with -14 in in February (I was struggling these days). Concerning, my research I am working hard and there is daily progress. Nevertheless, right after you find a solution in your problem, a bigger and more complicated one emerges. The deeper I focus on my topic, the less I feel to “know”. My opinion until this point is that smartphones have definitely the capabilities to detect accurately the color changes of a chemical assay. The scientific challenge is to develop simple and sensitive assays for people without any lab expertise. Also, I am very happy to present my progress in 12th European Pesticide Residue Workshop, EPRW 2018, with a poster. I will travel there with the UCT colleagues of the pesticides group at the end of May and I am looking forward to attend this workshop. Additionally, I had the chance to travel in the Netherlands for 4 days and visit Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague. The Netherlands is the most well organized country that I have visited until today, so convenient to travel and expats friendly. Personally, I liked The Hague the most as it was a place with amazing architecture, prestigious feeling and located by the sea.
That’s all for today lads. Until the next time keep safe.