Heroes in Science
A link to the interview with my hero, Dr. Valerie Kilman. *not the BBC doctor
What makes someone a hero?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a hero is "a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities." Most people think heroes are leaders, the ones that "save the day." The masked crime fighters in capes. The handsome James Bond figure who gets the girl. But these people are often corrupted by the amount of influence they obtain from their fame. Unlike the dictionary definition, real heroes are not always praised or known. True heroes are the people who commit selfless acts, even if they aren't noticed or are punished.
A hero is a regular citizen who calls out a powerful person's wrongdoing, even when they could be punished. Imagine a person who publicly disapproves of a political leader's decisions. They could risk jail time or even death to bring attention to injustice. How much would the average person be willing to tolerate before protesting? True heroes are willing to endure pain and misfortune to bring light to injustice. They expect nothing in return, other than an end to whatever they chose to protest. For example, speaking out in authoritarian countries like North Korea or Russia can be punished by death. To selflessly speak out to end injustice is to be a hero.
Heroes are people of different races and religions defending each other. In 1960's America people with darker skin colors were often disliked and greatly oppressed. There were even separate bathrooms and restaurants because a lot of people thought they were inferior and "unclean." Despite this, a group of black doctors working in an ER still rushed to save an injured member of the Klu Klux Klan. They were able to put aside the fact that this person wouldn't have helped them if their roles were reversed, and did their duty. Religiously and racially tolerant people protecting each other's religions and races are heroes.
Both the oppressed doctors and regular people calling out the injustice of people in power are heroes. They committed selfless acts without the thought of reward or fear of punishment. Many people are labeled as heroes because of their influence, but few actually are. Not all so-called "heroes" help people because it's right. Have you been kind, knowing it will go unnoticed? When is the last time you selflessly helped someone? If everyone did things like this, (in the words of David Bowie) we could be heroes.
Neurobiologists like Dr. Kilman study neurons which are in the brain.
Drosophila is the genus of fly that many Neurobiologists use for experiments and studies.
Dr. Kilman is a Neurobiology instructor. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students.
My Electrifying Untouchable Hero
A hero is someone who is selfless, even when they go unrewarded or are punished. Nikola Tesla was a Croatian-American inventor. His ideas were invaluable when creating inventions such as the Direct Current Motor, the Alternating Current Motor, and the Hydro-Electric plant (powered by Niagara falls). Tesla is my hero because he made inventions that we use every day, even though he never received the money, credit, or rewards he deserved.
Tesla is a hero because he was selfless and invented technology that changes people's lives. According to the "Encyclopedia of Occultism," "[Tesla's] experiments with electromagnetic waves formed the basis of the development of radio." By contributing to the creation of radio, he helped invent long-distance communication. Despite not receiving any credit or prestige for this, he continued inventing technology to help people. For example, according to "World of Invention," Tesla tried to build a tower that would give everyone free power through the air, but he ran out of funding and had to abandon the project. Tesla was a hero because he did not let any obstacles stop him from changing the world with his inventions.
Dr. Kilman and Nikola Tesla are both scientists that change lives even when underappreciated and underestimated. When Dr. Kilman was in graduate school, she was underestimated by her professor. Instead of letting him get to her, she made it motivate her to try harder and prove him wrong. When Tesla was not given credit for fixing the Direct Current Motor, he invented more essential technology rather than trying to get revenge. Dr. Kilman and Nikola Tesla are heroes because being underestimated and underappreciated just motivated them to continue researching and changing lives.
If Nikola Tesla were here today, I would tell him how helpful his inventions have been and how unacceptable it was that he was never thanked for his contributions to society. As someone who rose to the top, he would say to never give up or your ideas and dreams. Despite studying in different fields, Nikola Tesla and Dr. Kilman are heroes because they both change lives for the better even when unrecognized.