I watched ‘A beautiful Mind’- a movie based on the story of John Nash Jnr. and it inspired me beyond measure. This is because John’s deepest passion for mathematics happen to coincide with my own deepest passion for geology. John Nash was in search of an original mathematical idea; he believed that there exists a principle that governs the behavior of things. He had already started winning scientific awards and had already been well known among his peers even before he entered the university. While at the university, he refused to go to classes or read textbooks simply because he believed that classes kills the potential for innovation in students. Whenever he was faced with any mathematical problem, he never consulted his lecturers or read text books, he sought for answers to questions based on his own reasoning. He was an amazing man. He talked less, listened more and thought more. In fact, he was always thinking. He was not a people-person. Although most of his classmates adored him, they ridiculed his weird attitude.
I like him for his deep passion and his pursuit of an original idea. At the end of the day, he had breakthroughs in game theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations which provided insight into the forces that govern chance and events inside complex systems in daily life. He achieved his goal. His theories are used in market economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory. He later won Nobel Memorial Prize in 1994.
It would be a greater challenge to follow John’s path in our present world, as most academic institutions are very strict with referencing in presented or published research papers. A writer of today is expected to quote at least one author who had published an article on whatever assertion/proposition he makes in his paper. I could remember my first degree final year project defense. The area I worked on had not been extensively explored or written on by earlier geologists. So, I had few references. The external project supervisor asked why my reference list wasn’t long, I explained the reason to him. He said he doesn’t believe that there’s any new thing in this world. That the truth is someone, somewhere would have discussed or written about whatever model I am proposing in my thesis.
Both ancient and contemporary psychologists have reiterated the fact that there is still a huge load of theories, principles, scientific processes etc. yet to be discovered by man. An inspirational quote I read some years ago states that "Only in the minds of a selected group of thinkers does the earth begin to reveal its secrets." I loved it so much that I turned it into my email signature. It suggests that the earth has secrets to reveal about itself. Man could definitely have not exhausted these secrets so soon.
Nevertheless, I choose to be one of those selected group of thinkers. I am committed to the cause of pushing geoscientific knowledge to the next level. I believe there are still a lot to be understood and known about Nigeria’s geology, as well as the structure of the earth at large. There are still a lot of dark spots in our understanding of plate tectonics, there’s still a huge demand for renewable energy which is yet to be met. These and many more constitute the secrets of our planet earth that we are yet to discover.
This is my passion… the pursuit of an original geoscientific idea… a pattern of thinking that will transform the way in which man sees this amazing planet- The Earth.