Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Mona Lisa Smiles for Science

Today's Washington Post has an article titled "In Europe, science collides with the bottom line," with the front-page summary as shown at right.

Would you expect the article to focus on some sort of analysis of Mona Lisa? Of course not. The article is almost entirely about funding the research into "questions of the universe, working to re-create the cosmic soup served up by the Big Bang." Funding is in jeopardy at CERN, concerning particle accelerators, the Large Hadron Collider, and elsewhere a telescope on a mountaintop in Chile and other technology.

Oh yes, one little mention of "X-ray fluorescence [used] to illuminate the genius of Leonardo da Vinci's brush strokes and to study the skulls of ancient hominids" -- not even necessarily the Mona Lisa.

BUT what gets people's attention? That mysterious smile. Even when the main topic is money for particle research and exploring the Big Bang.

No comments: