Illusions and Reality

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” -Albert Einstein

Fermi, Creation, Chevalier, and MLK Day 18 January 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — martieinstein @ 6:46 pm

Another great week of my Einstein Fellowship.  On the work front it looks like we have actual dates for the Greenland trip now – July 19-25.  I am so excited and we are working on getting the participants finalized.  Outside of work, I had a busy week as well.

Steven Chu, John Holdren and Fermi Award Winners, John Bannister Goodenough and Siegfried S. Hecker

Tuesday night,  the Einstein Fellows were invited to the Fermi Awards Ceremony.  “The Enrico Fermi Award is a Presidential award, one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government. It recognizes scientists of international stature for their lifetimes of exceptional scientific, technical, engineering, and/or management achievements related to the development, use, control, or production of energy (broadly interpreted as encompassing all basic and applied research, science, and technology supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs).”  (from the DOE website about the Fermi Award)During his welcome, John Holdren (Obama’s major science advisor) welcomed the Einstein Fellows as special guests.  During the post-awards reception, we were honored to meet Dr. Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy and have our picture taken with him.

Wednesday evening, I went with a group of fellows to the screening of the movie Creation that was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences.  The movie is about Charles Darwin and almost didn’t get released in the United States.  Following the film, there was a panel discussion that featured Jon Amiel, the director of the film, Randall Keynes, author of the book the film is based on who is also a great-great grandson of Charles Darwin.  The discussion was moderated by Bob Mondelo, the film critic from NPR.

Finally, last night I went to a Smithsonian Resident’s Associates program where Tracy Chevalier talked about her new book as well as her writing process.  Her new novel is about Mary Anning, who was a fossil hunter in Victorian England at a time that women didn’t do that sort of thing.  She was from a lower socioeconomic class and suppoorted her family by selling her finds to middle class men.  There are some people who think she might have been the inspiration for the tongue twister, “She sells seashells by the seashore.”

Einstein Fellows with Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu

A nice and relaxing long weekend followed my busy week.  I got some things done around home; laundry, grocery shoppping, and the like.  Sunday was cold and rainy so I spent a good portion of the day on the couch reading An Echo in the Bone, which is Diana Gabaldon’s newest installment of the Outlander series – good brain candy.  Today was MLK Day so I went downtown.  I started out the day stopping by the Lincoln Memorial to stand on the step where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech.  Then I wandered up the Mall by the Korean War Memorial, the DC World War Memorial, and the Washington Monument.  I finished up at the Air and Space Museum where I poked around for a little while.  One of my favorite things about living here is still that I don’t feel like I have to go to every corner of the museum, but I can stop by and see just a few rooms and come back later to see more.

So the weekend is winding down and on the horizon for this week is a brown bag presentation at NSF, a legislative update session, and going to the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council meeting.

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2 Responses to “Fermi, Creation, Chevalier, and MLK Day”

  1. Dad Says:

    Sounds like another interesting week in the life of Marti” in the DC area!! Enjoy.

  2. Mom Says:

    Sounds like a good week and weekend. Glad the weather was nice on MLK Day so you could get out and enjoy!


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