PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Richard Nash

“I think the biggest skill you learn is you can now teach yourself anything you want to know. If you can survive a PhD program, you now know how to teach yourself how to do something. So, if you want to know something, you can figure out how to learn it by yourself.”

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

History of Science & Technology, PhD 2016

Associate Program Director at National Science Foundation (NSF)

Richard‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what led Richard to pursue a PhD in History of Science & Technology six years after earning his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, the unexpected evolution of his career goals over the course of his doctoral training, and his take on the value of a Humanities PhD in non-academic career paths.

Learn More About Richard‘s Story


-Ella Nash

My daughter painted this on a whim one day right around the time of her sixth birthday. Aside from its inherent beauty, the painting reminds me of the hardships that we all—my family and society in general—faced during the pandemic. My daughter is a prolific artist and creator, and during the height of the pandemic she continued to churn out beautiful and inspired art despite all of the frustration she experienced by being unable to attend kindergarten, and missing out on time with her friends and extended family. Despite all the adversity, she has worked so hard to catch up on her academics, and she continues to produce beautiful art that reflects her amazing young mind and character.

Pillars of Creation”

-James Webb Space Telescope

To me this image is perfectly reminiscent of Carl Sagan’s famous observation, “we are made of star stuff.” Sagan so poetically captured that duality of human beings who are at once capable of higher reasoning, art, music, and science, while simultaneously being constituted at our core of material born in the fiery bowels of stars distant in both time and space. It also suggests the progress of science and technology, with the Webb Telescope’s more sophisticated rendering of the same cradle of newborn stars first captured by its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. And it reminds me of both the significance, and ultimate insignificance, of our place in the cosmos—a call to maintain proper perspective while going about our worldly affairs, knowing that we are but an infinitesimal glimpse of possibility in the universe.