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Dean’s blog: The Marvels of Science (at Mason)

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

Science can be interesting and inspiring for the curious, the explainers, the problem solvers, and the futurists. 

Take the cicadas around us now. You don’t need to be a scientist to wonder out loud about the spaceship like droning sound permeating the airwaves thanks to these 17-year marvels. Our scientific experts at Mason, like Department of Biology entomologist Rebecca Forkner or Jim McNeil at Mason’s Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, have channeled their passions for science to build successful careers exploring this world of wildlife. 

Or Department of Environmental Science and Policy Professor, Cindy Smith, whose scientific curiosity is so fueled by this natural phenomena, she wrote an ebook about it and recently took to ABC-TV to explain it. 

Bugs not your thing? Then how about being enthralled by our world and its place in the universe? Our scientists, both faculty and students, are channeling their curiosity and analytic acumen to discover double black holes and exoplanets, exploring and predicting the long term paths and effects of climate change, and ok, even coming back down to earth’s daily day-to-day realities to help farmers harness the elements to optimally care for our crops and feed our society. It’s hard not to have your mind blown by our impactful discoveries.

Just look at the major issues of our time— COVID-19, climate change, our future data-driven computational society, sustainability and justice, both criminal and environmental. Scientists at Mason are using the powers of data, research, and learning to better understand the human body, save species and save lives thanks to our important work in systems biology, forensic science, geography and geoinformation sciences, neuroscience, mathematics, computational data science and environmental science and policy.

The scientific pathways within the highly diverse learning and research environments we offer within the College of Science here at Mason both inspire emerging scientists and establish the scientific career launching pad for already established individuals looking to reskill or who want to take their careers to the next level. 

That infamous rapper (and in my humble opinion, highly unappreciated!) Vanilla Ice said “If you have a problem, yo, I'll solve it.” And thanks to the depth and breadth of our dozen departments and more than 15 research centers and hundreds of faculty, scientific experts in their respective fields, there aren’t too many problems or situations we aren’t working diligently to solve. As a result of my frequent interaction with our faculty and staff, I’m fortunate to learn something new and interesting every day. Want to satisfy your scientific curiosity or be inspired? Just check our social feeds where you’ll see a constant stream of innovations and success stories. 

So when your scientific curiosity is piqued, whether it be by the need to better understand COVID-19 or these invading cicadas, just plug into our work at Mason to see what our experts are up to or to answer your burning scientific questions.


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