Over the weekend the Kepler telescope was launched into space to hunt for earth-like planets.  So who was this space craft named for?  The name Kepler is familiar to me because it is the name of my printer at work – being a slightly nerdy, technology-based trade association NEMA names it meeting rooms and printers after scientists, engineers and inventors.  Johannes Kepler was a 17th century astronomer who developed the mathematics of planetary motion.

During a recession it is a timely reminder that economic progress over the centuries has been fueled by technological development.  Most scientists and engineers are not celebrated or remembered in our history texts, but their contributions have been responsible for the vast improvement in the quality of our lives.  They have not been responsible for the current economic crisis; the pipeline of scientific development has not run dry.  New, innovative ways of producing energy, curing diseases, increasing crop yields and doing more with less will continue to the developed and provide the growth for the future.

It’s worth honoring these scientists and engineers; whether it’s a spacecraft or a printer that is named after them.


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