Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum shares his thoughts on Caltech, as well as his own scientific journey, with alumnus Richmond Wolf (MS '94, PhD '97) in the most recent episode of The Lonely Idea podcast.
In the latest episode of The Lonely Idea podcast, alumnus Rich Wolf speaks with Thomas F. Rosenbaum about his role as Caltech president, the Institute's formula for success and future areas of inquiry, and his own scientific journey. Their discussion is the seventh episode in a limited-release series that first aired in spring 2020. Episodes to date present conversations with six Caltech faculty members on topics that range from the neurological and biological underpinnings of humans to the most elusive particles of the universe.
Listen to the full series online or stream on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.
Wolf and Rosenbaum discuss what inspires Caltech scientists and engineers in their pursuit of pathbreaking discoveries, how the Institute's culture and environment cultivate the discovery of new fields, and how Rosenbaum's own scientific journey led him to roles in academic leadership.
"…understanding the ebb and flow of the quest for knowledge, understanding humanity's quest throughout the ages to understand science, understanding that asking a good question is sometimes better than getting the answer even if you are wrong with your theory, you can propel a field forward by delineating new ways of thinking about problems," says Rosenbaum, who has served as Caltech president since 2014. "I think the contextualization of that, which comes from the history, which comes from philosophy, is extraordinarily important."