When you get promoted and/or tenure at Penn State, the libraries hold a ceremony for you, where a book of your choice gets added to their special collection with a plate on the inside cover commemorating your achievement. They ask that you choose a book (they’ll buy it if they don’t have it) with some significance, and they post a short blurb about it on their website.
At the ceremony, President Barron told how he instituted the same tradition at Florida State when he was president there. He also acknowledged the hard work and sacrifice of the newly promoted’s families, since he knows promotion is a team effort. I was very pleased to hear that.
Here’s my book and blurb:
The blurb in more detail:
I know I’m not the only astronomer that was inspired by Our Universe. The copy at Lockwood Elementary school was effectively mine, because I kept renewing it over and over. I always knew I wanted to study astronomy, but this book gave me the background to start to understand what that meant.
Today, I can really appreciate the care of the graphic design that went into this book, drawing me in first with the pictures, then they layout and infographics, and eventually all that black-on-white text.
For an older generation of astronomers, the inspiration was Cosmos. How many others of my generation owe their careers, in part, to Gallant’s book? Who do the young’uns today point to?
Leave your inspirations in the comments below.