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Seen and Heard: Spring 2018

He dove into the chasm between quantum theory and general relativity and came back with a pearl.”
Adam Riess
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Thomas J. Barber Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Krieger Eisenhower Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Popular Mechanics, March 2018, on the death of Stephen Hawking.

To represent the nation, [Mrs.] Obama had to sweep aside parody—and that’s precisely what her portrait does. Her exposed arms unmistakably signify grace, strength and an impeccable fashion sense. But they also offer more: an unmistakable sign of black women’s political power at the start of the 21st century—a power centuries in the making.”
Martha Jones
Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor of History
The Washington Post, February 2018, on the Smithsonian’s recently unveiled portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama.

I thought: Can we measure this correlation of clustering of vacant houses the same way we made measurements about astronomy?”
Tamás Budavári
Associate Research Professor, Physics and Astronomy
WIRED, January 2018, on drawing from his research on modeling the universe to develop an algorithmic tool for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City that can predict a city’s abandoned housing vacancies.

What happens in the Middle Ages is that alchemy is celebrated—and it might be one of the first disciplines that is celebrated this way—as the power it gives to human beings to control nature.”
Lawrence Principe
Drew Professor of the Humanities, History of Science and Technology
The Washington Post, January 2018, on the history of alchemical practice, which began about 1,500 years ago in Hellenistic Greece and flourished in Europe between the 13th and 18th centuries.