Scientists without borders

Yesterday’s numerical analysis seminar here at Oxford was given by an Egyptian who studied in France and the USA before taking his current job in the UK. There were 30 people in the room, and the group seemed even more diverse than usual. We checked and found that we had been born in 21 different countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, UK, and USA.

[28 October 2016]


Somewhere along the way, the word “humbled” came in. “I am humbled,” declared the new NYU president at his inauguration last week. It’s a great word, sends all the right signals.

But a little detached, perhaps, from its traditional meaning. As Hillary recalled about one of her achievements in this evening’s Clinton-Trump debate –

“I was very proud and very humbled about that.”

[9 October 2016]