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A letter from an alum about John Marburger ’62

July 8, 2004

Your last page feature, "A Moment With," is regularly an engaging and enjoyable sign-off to your always interesting copy issue after issue.

The recent conversation there (PAW July 7), with John H. Marburger III ’62, science adviser to President Bush, was an intriguing case in point. Among his many thought-provoking comments, Mr. Marburger had various observations in regard to this administrationís goal for manned space exploration to Mars.

This brought to mind the relevant comments made by biologist J. Craig Venter (the scientist who beat the federal government in the race to map the human genome), in a recent issue of Discover magazine. Speaking there about some new groundbreaking microbial research of his in the Sargasso Sea, Mr. Venter exclaimed: "It's amazing how little we know. Less than 1% of marine microbes have been characterized. We're looking for life on Mars, and we don't even know what's on Earth."

It all brings to mind the old bromide that "the foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet."

Rocky Semmes ’79
Alexandria, Va.

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