Press on with the work beyond fear.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL, 1961
Today's information age invites us to do great things with data. We are lucky to live in a time rich with such possibility. I hope we set our eyes toward embracing this potential. Together we can augment one another's intelligence and capabilities. Together we can strive to not only better understand the world, but also to better know each other.
In 2014, MIT researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee characterized this spirit as racing with machines, not against them. External aids—information—are the tools that make this possible. Just as the left and right sides of our brain are spanned by the corpus callosum, information links data and humans. In doing so, information expands our knowledge, know-how, and imagination. Information expands what is humanly possible.
To expand human imagination is to create doors to new worlds. Many scientists have echoed this enthusiasm across the last hundred years. I am particularly struck by how Marie Curie, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, put it:
I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can ...