Following a reader’s suggestion

A JPL scientist who just read my latest book, Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel, thinks we should do more to bring it to the attention of scientists.

I’ve decided he’s right! What good is having a blog if I can’t toot my own horn once in a while.

I’ll use the reader’s own words to do that.

Wesley A. Traub, Chief Scientist, Navigator Program, and Project Scientist, Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory sent an e-mail to Heidi Hammel, whom he knows professionally, after discovering the book. This is what he wrote:

Last night I read the HH book, and simply want to say that it is a very good read!

I liked the premise of explaining a realistic life story as inspiration for young people. I think your writer did a wonderful job of extracting and presenting things. I’m not a teen-ager any more, nor was I ever anything but a male, but I thought the story should have resonance with teens, and beyond as well (grad students, for example). I also liked the layout, artwork, etc.

When I wrote to thank him for his praise, he responded with this:

I did indeed enjoy reading the book, not only for its own sake but mostly knowing that it will certainly help to inspire more young people to become scientists. It is clear to me that the world needs more people who can think scientifically. We need them to sustain our intellect, and also, increasingly in this time of depleting the world’s resources, to sustain our planet.

You have my permission to quote me and use my name and position.

Thanks, Wes!

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