12 Questions for Sir Paul – NZ Herald

For the NZ Herald Online, Sarah Daniell poses 12 questions to well-known Physicist Sir Paul Callaghan.

An excerpt (read in full here):

Physicist Sir Paul Callaghan is a remarkable figure in the world of science. He has put himself and New Zealand on the world stage and has brought science to the people. Sir Paul was born in Wanganui in 1947 and is Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. He was diagnosed in 2008 with an aggressive cancer. Sir Paul replied to 12 Questions on his iPhone from his hospital bed this week.

What is the thing that science cannot answer or solve?

Science cannot tell us how to live as humans. It cannot solve human ethical issues.

If you were not a scientist, what would you be doing?

I would have liked to compose music.

When are you happiest?

When I am teaching physics to advanced undergraduates, opening their eyes to the astonishing insights of physics. Although the most moving experience has been in the moments of discovery, when I have managed to see something new in nature for the first time.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My wife, of course. Science has been a good runner-up when she is absent!

What is the trait you least like in yourself?

My tendency to speak too soon on a matter, before I have thought it through properly. Although, as I have grown older I have tended to hold back more.

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