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Humble before the Void: A Western…
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Humble before the Void: A Western Astronomer, his Journey East, and a…

by Chris Impey

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In a vivid and compelling narrative, Impey intro­duces us to a group of exiled Tibetan monks whose charm, tenacity and unbridled enthusiasm for learning is infectious. Impey marvels not only at their enthusiasm, but at their tireless diligence that allows the monks to painstakingly build intri­cate sand mandalas—that can be swept away in an instant. He observes them as they meticulously count galaxies and notes how their enthusiasm and diligence stands in contrast to many American students who are frequently turned off by the inability of Science to deliver easy, immediate payoffs. Because the Buddhist monks have had a limited science education, Impey must devise creative pedagogy. His new students immediately take to his inspired teaching methods, whether it is the use of balloons to demonstrate the Hubble expansion or donning an Einstein mask to explain the theory of relativity.… (more)

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