Summer Reading – 8.25.2023

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff, At the very end, on reflection, how has your summer been? New England has been not too hot, and plenty of rain has made up for the lack of snow last winter. But earlier, massive rain devastated parts of Vermont, and elsewhere, extreme heat and fires, including in Maui, have made for huge hardship and challenge. I hope your family and friends in affected areas are safe. I hope despite this bad news, your summer has been mostly positive. And let’s enjoy the last few official days, perhaps immersed in some reading. I can highly recommend the following books from my summer. Serendipitously, both are set in African countries, and both authors are also physicians.Cutting for Stone by Abraham Vergese. Set in Ethiopia and the Bronx, the writing is beautiful, the story carefully constructed, and you will learn a whole lot about Ethiopia and medicine from an insider.The Wormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson is hands-down the best science fiction I’ve read for years. Taking place in Nigeria, aliens, xenobiology and colonization combine into an exciting, well-written, creative, thoughtful, crazy story!I’d love to know what you’ve read and recommend, for all the year!

I am deeply excited to move into AY23-24, with outstanding new students, and renewed enthusiasm for our important work. Mind you, let’s also be very clear. The College of Science has been busy all summer. We are a year-round operation! The Good Power of Science is always on! Thank you to everyone who has worked through the summer! Here is some of what’s been going on…. (you’ll hear more about many of these)

  • Our Strategic Plan (you should have a hard copy!)
  • Researchers and Staff working in every research group (thank you)
  • Staff running department offices (thank you)
  • Every unit, every person in the Dean’s Office continuing to look after Human Resources, Finances, Space, Safety, Communications, Administration, Undergraduate Advising, Graduate Student Support and Operations, Coop (so many thank yous)
  • Faculty teaching Summer1 or Summer2 semesters (thank you)
  • A great, new Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program ‘Science Connects to Innovation’ (thank you)
  • Hosting EE Just Scholars through the UNCF (thank you)
  • The amazing, unique Connected Science Community PhD Program (thank you)
  • The EXP Move (best lab space in the world!) (thank you)
  • Other renovations (coming along) (thank you)
  • New faculty!  New staff! Hello, we are so pleased you are here!
  • New Network connections – Toronto, Oakland, London – Science Connects across the Network!
  • An Executive Leadership Group with College Vision and Oversight (thank you)

While it’s still warm enough for flip flops, while there are lovely insect sounds at night, and while it’s pleasant to read outside on the porch, I hope you can take a few minutes for peaceful reflection. Please remember always that you belong in the College of Science. This is your place, one community, that values and respects each and every member.