Message from the President: October 2016

Contributed by Dennis Chamot, CSW President

Many scientists are, like me, science fiction fans.  This is the 50th anniversary year of the original Star Trek TV show, and there has been a lot of publicity about how far we have come in developing technologies that were only theatrical props a half century ago.  But on October 13, you will have an opportunity to learn about some real extraterrestrial science.  We are fortunate to have as our CSW dinner speaker that evening Dr. Jennifer Stern, a leading planetary geologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  Join us and learn about the impressive array of instruments aboard the Martian rovers, and the equally impressive analytical and chemical data that is being obtained.  Could life as we know it ever have been present on Mars?  Join us on the 13th and find out!

It is really amazing to think about how far science and engineering have come in just the past few decades.  I can remember watching in awe as the first human stepped foot on the moon.  Not only was this an amazing engineering feat, but the fact that we could watch the event on television in real time was nothing short of miraculous.  Now we do chemistry on Mars at a distance of millions of miles, and exploratory probes have returned scientific data from far more distant planets.  We haven’t met any “little green men or women” yet, but as with the original Star Trek, scientists will continue to explore new frontiers, whether on Earth or beyond.