"Mass is the thing that gets in the way"

02 Dec 2011

Joseph Brean, for The National Post interviews Professor Frank Close:

If it is right, it is probably the greatest instance of serendipity ever to befall science, and the biggest science story of the last hundred years. If it is wrong, it is just another experiment that did not work out.

Ah science, constantly on the precipices of greatness and disregard. Scientists dream, just as we all do, of overcoming their heroes or, if not supplanting them, at least standing side-by-side with them as equals. Is it possible to match Newton under the tree or Einstein in the patent office? And, even if it is, can it be done in a laboratory or at a particle accelerator?

Such questions ignore the quality of the deed itself and focus wholly on the poetics. Do we wish to do great deeds or to be remembered for them?