Letters of Note is one of my favourite blogs ever, but this particular post last week (appearing the day after International Women’s Day) made me walk a lot taller, look a lot harder, feel a lot prouder, dare a LOT bigger. It’s a rare treat when one blog post, one letter, can do that, and justifies the blog’s claim to feature ‘Correspondence Worthy of a Wider Audience’.
The reason for this burst of energy was a letter from Carl Sagan supporting the admission of women to The Explorers Club. A sample:
The earliest footprints — 3.6 million years old — made by a member of the human family have been found in a volcanic ash flow in Tanzania by Mary Leakey. Trailblazing studies of the behavior of primates in the wild have been performed by dozens of young women, each spending years with a different primate species. Jane Goodall’s studies of the chimpanzee are the best known of the investigations which illuminate human origins. The undersea depth record is held by Sylvia Earle. The solar wind was first measured in situ by Marcia Neugebauer, using the Mariner 2 spacecraft. The first active volcanos beyond the Earth were discovered on the Jovian moon Io by Linda Morabito, using the Voyager 1 spacecraft. These examples of modern exploration and discovery could be multiplied a hundredfold. They are of true historical significance. If membership in The Explorers Club is restricted to men, the loss will be ours; we will only be depriving ourselves.
Beautifully written and simply inspirational. (The image below should come up bigger if you click on it, or go through to the original because the comments are worth a read too.)