O U R R E A D E R S W R I T E
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Not so alone after all
What a story about an incredible young man, Ryan Harrison, on the cover of the June issue ["Locally Grown"]. As a scientist myself, I've always followed the Intel Science Talent Search and looked to see where the students were from and what topics they were studying. The depth of their research always amazes me. Ryan is quite a dedicated, motivated, and intelligent young man. Hopkins is definitely getting a winner with his acceptance into the freshman class.
However, one line in the story stood out for me: "Still, he couldn't help but look around the room and wonder why he was the only African American finalist." No need to look that far. There are many other talented African American scientists out there. Everyone should take a look at Science's Next Wave's "Minority Scientists Network" (http://nextwave.sci encemag.org/miscinet). There are so many great first-person perspectives of minority scientists. For full disclosure, I am the former program director for Science's Next Wave and used to help promote the Web site.
Nevertheless, kudos to Ryan Harrison and the best of luck in his future scientific endeavors.
Lisa Kozlowski, PhD
Kathryn Hansen's "Vignette" that starts "A cockroach scurries . . ." [June, p. 21] reminded me of a Hopkins cockroach experience a half century ago. Robert Millonig and I were both ScD candidates, both working in the Microbiology Department at the School of Hygiene and Public Health under Dr. Carl Lamanna (and Thomas B. Turner) on different aspects of botulinum toxin — "the most poisonous poison."
Our labs were side by side. At that time, the 615 N. Wolfe Street building was infested with both mice and cockroaches. Flick on a light at night, and you would likely see large cockroaches scurrying everywhere. Bob was having a problem with mice in his lab, and he'd placed spring traps out for them.
One night in 1955, finishing an experiment, I found myself the only person in the department. Turning on the light in my lab, I noted — and caught — one of the largest cockroaches I'd seen. (Baltimore residents can tell you how large they can get.) Not willing to merely discard this trophy, I took it into Bob's lab, and placed it in one of his (sprung) mousetraps — as if the cockroach had been caught by the trap. Next morning, I was in my lab when Bob arrived. He let out a "Whoop!" then proceeded to make his way, room by room, down the hall, calling one and all to see the cockroach that had sprung his mouse trap. Bob was a mild-mannered fellow, and I later told him what I'd done. There was no violence. I trust the School of Hygiene and Public Health now has both the mouse and cockroach problem under control.
Ernest A. Meyer, ScD '58
I hasten to write: The June 2005 issue is a stunner. Page after page is important, interesting, well-written, and wonderfully well-illustrated. The article on women scientists ["Wired for Science"] could be in a fashion magazine; Mike Ciesielski's photographs are superb and could be used to recruit both students and faculty. The women sure don't look like nerds. I hope you had lots of extra copies printed to hand out to visitors. And you might send one off to Harvard's beleaguered president.
John Graham, A&S '60 (PhD)
What struck me in the article "Crazy Success" [June] about John Gartner's study of hypomania is the fact that among the famous hypomanics he described so skillfully, no woman could be found. While men's hypomanic grandiosity, impulsivity, and perversity are regarded as merely snobbishly eccentric behavior, the same does not apply to women whose hypomanic features are mercilessly scrutinized by society and later by their biographers. How about Eleanor Roosevelt, Lola Montez, and other female hypomanics?
As much as I find John Gartner's study fascinating, it will be rather disappointing if he limits himself to safely depicting men only.
Hearty congratulations to Coach Dave Pietramala and his worthy team! When I first saw the title "An End to the Local Drought" (Editor's Note, June), I couldn't believe that Hopkins' NCAA lacrosse championship had made it to this issue — but, no. Still, I do hope that you and your staff will provide hungry fans everywhere with an in-depth story in a near-future issue.
I still have a memorable issue from the early '80s. Its cover depicts a Johns Hopkins Magazine writer sitting at a typewriter in Hopkins lacrosse regalia ("What Me, Play Lacrosse?"), à la George Plimpton. It was a sort of fantasy article, probably, for many Hopkins lacrosse fans. My own dream came true when, having learned the game (from the best!) and fundamentals of catching/throwing, I made the cut as the starting goalkeeper for the Cambridge University lacrosse team, where I was a graduate student. A few years of club ball followed, and now I'm trying to teach my kids this venerable Hopkins tradition.
I look forward to reading all about our championship team soon — and I'll save that issue, too.
Colin Phoon, A&S '85
"Golomb's Gambits" is my favorite part of the magazine — thank you.
Here are a few more anagrams for "Anagram It" [June]:
4. TESLA, SLATEYou might not consider the Spanish words sufficiently "familiar." But certainly the other two belong on the list.
Mary Murphy, MAT '66
In the June issue, we incorrectly called psychologist John Gartner a psychiatrist. The magazine regrets the error.
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