Scientists are not that smart

NY mag has posted an essay by Chad Orzel about scientists and society. I found it very thought provoking, but somewhat discouraging. For example, he notes that he plays basketball and enjoys even though he will never make the NBA but “science is something you’re expected to give up unless you’re ‘really’ smart enough to make it your career.”

I first encountered Prof Orzel through his book How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. My then 14-year-old daughter read it and loved it. Alas, her next experience with physics (high school class) quenched the passion that was ignited by the book.


Wow! Both courses I’m teaching filled up almost immediately. This is good and bad. Good: I must be teaching the right subjects. Bad: I have to turn away many students.

If you wanted to get into a course and couldn’t that is regretful and I empathize with you. Unfortunately, each course has a limit. Registration is controlled by the registrar and policy set by the dept, college, and university. I do not have any control of this process. If you have any questions or requests, please direct them to the dept grad office,

Your only option is to get on the wait list and hope that enough students drop the course. I do not know whether that will happen, but in the past about 10% of those that initially enroll drop the course. If you are not on the wait list, I believe you can set up an alert in MyPack to let you know if space opens up on the wait list.