This week’s question is:
Assuming that time and money were not obstacles, what area of scientific research, outside of your own discipline, would you most like to explore? Why?
I’m going to force myself to choose something totally outside the biological sciences and go with some area of physics. In high school and college in the ’80s, I was good at physics, particularly stuff like thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and traditional mechanics. There was a beauty to it – an appreciation that I think I got from my father (who was an engineer) from an early age. Unfortunately my mathematical abilities (and my interest in organismal biology) precluded me keeping up with physics. I think I could find things a little easier now with the availability of software like Matlab and Mathematica (which I use for my current research). Having taught Newton’s Principia to honors freshmen, most of whom were non-physics majors, I think I could struggle through with a bit of help. As for a specific area – probably something related to astronomy/astrophysics, fields which ASU has a great track record.