Science from Away: Backwards Learning

  In 1967, after finishing a fancy education, I got an offer to be an assistant chemistry professor in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan. I took it and opened a laboratory in May of that year with the intention of doing something original in organic chemistry research. It didn’t turn out to be very [...]

Science from Away: A Meeting, a Merger and a Marriage – New York City Style

           Nineteen eighty four was a big year for me, and for New YorkUniversity. I met my wife to be (more about that to follow), and NYU began a billion dollar fund raising campaign. There’s an article in the NY Times published on March 20, 1995 entitled “A Decade and a Billion Dollars Put New [...]

From a From Away: Voodoo-Science?

  I greatly suffered from a painful sinus infection and an impending lonely holiday season as Christmas 1983 was approaching and as my fall term of teaching was ending. A month earlier several of us stood around listening to a former colleague, Gerald Oster (http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/11/obituaries/dr-gerald-oster-75-who-found-op-art-in-eye-experiments.html) tell us about buying a ranch near Jacmel, Haiti and [...]

Science from away – My fifteen minute of wow.

              I was in the Zurich Airport in the mid-90s, sitting quietly on a banquette when a woman sat down one seat away. I took a look and noticed that she was attractive in an interesting way. That’s as far as it went, until she turned to me and asked what I was doing [...]

Science from Away: Mr. Costa retired – A New York Story

For many decades Mr. Costa had a shop on the south side of 14th street between 8th and 9th avenues in Manhattan. It was one of those down-the-stairs shops with rent which allowed him to charge a low price for his haircuts. I went there as often as my wife threw me out of the [...]