On Light & Carbon
There was a time in my teenage years when I read lots of popular science books: Carl Sagan, Jacob Bronowski, Arthur Koestler, Douglas Hofstadter, the Tell me Why book series and others. The emphasis in these books was on how science opens up new ways of understanding. I grew up in the belief science was a human concern – and I don’t mean in terms of the impact of technology. I mean I expected that discoveries about human nature and about the nature of the universe would change people’s way of thinking.
Noel Duffy trained as a physicist and shares this view that scientific discoveries are an integral part of intellectual life. There is no border between the “two cultures”. His poems grasp imagery from space exploration, chemistry, astronomy, the pioneering days of science, but also ancient history, art, and philosophy.