Ralph Waldo Emerson urged us not to be “squeamish or timid.” He said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” This issue of Arts & Sciences magazine reminds me of that quotation. We didn't do it on purpose, but I realize that many of the articles are about people trying something new—perhaps even stepping out of their comfort zones a bit. Take our cover story, for instance. We followed some of the 25 Hopkins undergraduates who embarked on a new urban internship program last summer. For many of those students, it meant doing something they'd never done before or meeting people whose lives differed vastly from their own. They took a chance because they wanted to make a difference in the city.
You'll meet physics and astronomy professor Adam Riess, who just last month won a Nobel Prize for research experiments that he first thought were a mistake. Then there's the story of Mike Yassa, a neuroscientist who began pursuing a career in medicine but couldn't ignore the intrigue of the human brain. He changed his life course to follow his passion. And you'll read about two economics alumni who left their stable, well-paying jobs to pursue a shared interest in creating computer games. “The more experiments you make, the better.” Indeed.
Former editor Sylvia Eggleston Wehr, a familiar face to many of you, has also decided it's time to try something new. After four years at the School of Arts and Sciences, she has assumed the position of associ- ate dean for external affairs for the Sheridan Libraries and University Museums. Sylvia has been in and around Johns Hopkins for most of her life, including leadership stints first at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and then at the School of Arts and Sciences. Both divisions have benefited enormously from her expertise, and we are fortunate that she will still be at Johns Hopkins.
Know that I will do my best to give you a magazine that is provoca- tive and informative. My father, an uncle, two aunts, and I are all Johns Hopkins alums, and I worked at the School of Nursing for a number of years, so my JHU ties are strong. This is a place where there are always new opportunities to learn, grow, prosper, and of course, to experiment, and I am so pleased to be part of it. I welcome your comments, emails, and letters.