Quantum Correlations: Unless You’re Vulcan, Say Toodle-oo to Venus

By Alaina G. Levine

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, so I am getting ready to say goodbye to my home world. I will miss it. Sure I will see it again with my telescope, but there’s nothing like witnessing its pass in front of the Sun. This transit won’t happen again until 2117. And since I am not Vulcan, and won’t be around in 100 years (at least in this form), I will say my fond farewells today.

I love my planet. Its sumptuous blue green tinge and its calming sulfuric acid clouds remind me of happy days as a child, climbing to and picnicking near the caldera of Maat Mons. Ah, but everything good must come to an end, and so it goes with my seeing the last transit of Venus while on this mortal coil.

Today, while people across the Earth experience the transit, it’s important to remember that lovely Venus is not only important to us girls. In fact, in the 1700s, its transit helped sailors, scientists and kings understand our place in the solar system. The story of how this transpired is brought to light in a clever and very entertaining book called The Day the World Discovered the Sun, by Mark Anderson. People risked life and limb to crack the problem of longitude, the author shared with me, and the transit of Venus was “the crucial key to worldwide navigation.”  His book is an adventure tale, a story of human “drive and endurance” with voyages to the poles and everywhere in between to unlock a scientific mystery. Check it out!

Alaina G. Levine is a freelance science writer, professional speaker, corporate comedian, and President of Quantum Success Solutions, a leadership and career consulting enterprise. She can be contacted through her website at www.alainalevine.com.

Changing Planet

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Alaina G. Levine is science journalist, professional speaker, corporate comedian, and science and engineering careers consultant. As President of Quantum Success Solutions, a career consulting enterprise with a focus on advancing the professional development expertise of scientists and engineers, she has been advising emerging and established scientists and engineers about their careers for over a decade, and has personally consulted with hundreds of early- and mid-career scientific professionals. The author of over 100 articles pertaining to science, science careers and business in such publications as Science, Nature, Scientific American Online, IEEE Spectrum, New Scientist, and Smithsonian, she was recently named a Contributor to National Geographic, where she writes articles and blogs for NatGeo News Watch. Levine also writes the Careers Column for The Euroscientist and the Profiles in Versatility career column for the American Physical Society's national publication, APS News. Previously, she directed a master's program in science and business and taught entrepreneurship to science graduate students at the University of Arizona. She has given over 450 workshops and seminars around the country and in Europe. Levine holds degrees in mathematics and anthropology from the University of Arizona, studied abroad at the American University in Cairo as a DoD National Security Education Program/Boren Fellow, and pursued grant-funded research in cosmology and mathematics history. Recently, she was honored with a travel fellowship to cover the 62nd Lindau (Physics) Nobel Laureates Meeting in Lindau, Germany (which she used to cover the meeting for National Geographic and APS News), during which she broke the Higgs news for NatGeo. She also has been honored as a Logan Science Journalism Fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Robert Bosch Stiftung Science Journalism Fellow and an Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources Fellow. In addition, Levine is an award-winning entrepreneur, winning more than 20 business and leadership awards in under a decade, including being named one of the youngest YWCA Women on the Move winners; the Tucson Leader of the Year, an honor previously bestowed upon former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona; and a Tucson 40 Under 40 Leader, an honor she shared with former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Read her complete bio at www.alainalevine.com.