This past week I had the pleasure of attending the McMaster Spring Convocation. There was alot of pomp and circumstance, but the thing that I found the most interesting was the parting comments from the president, the chancellor, the valedictorian and one of the honorary doctorate recipients.
The first speaker was an environmentalist from BC who was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work. He spoke about climate prediction and control and about what it means to be a scientist. He explained that he felt that he had an interest in science that started when he was a child and how he had just followed that.
For most of us, career planning is not that easy. I remember not being able to choose in grade 12 and stumbling into electronics which lead to computer science. I was fortunate to graduate at a time when anyone with a pulse that could program was guaranteed work. I was also fortunate to have my employer pay for my subsequent university education.
In each speech, the speaker talked about how the graduate’s journeys were just beginning and how they needed to find their passion. They encouraged and challenged each graduate to make a difference by harnessing their passion and focusing on an end goal. I can’t speak for all the graduates, but the numbers seem to indicate that passion might not be enough to find employment. That’s where you and I need to help…
I know that I have mentioned before that just being close to a university campus opens my mind to a world of possibilities. It makes me want to learn more and to explore the vast untapped world that is science. The speakers fueled that fire and I was really pumped by the end of the ceremony. I would encourage all who read this to look around and help new graduates realize their dreams.
This next generation will hold our futures in their hands a few short years from now. It is an exciting time for scientific research and discovery. I firmly believe that there will be advances in science that will extend our time in this place and I hope that these young people are up for the challenge.