Indeed, we are privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to study Nature and to follow our own thoughts and inspirations in a time of relative tranquillity and in a land with a generous and forward-looking government.
Nevertheless, as is a frequent occurrence in science, a general hypothesis was constructed from a few specific instances of a phenomenon.
Eight months later, having left Columbia, I was studying physics in a summer program and working in Colorado when I decided to enroll as a graduate student in biophysics.
The RNA World referred to an hypothetical stage in the origin of life on Earth.
I was born in Montreal in 1939, the second son of poor immigrants.
I spent eighteen months as a graduate student in physics at Columbia University, waiting unhappily for an opportunity to work in a laboratory and wondering if I should continue in physics.
By the time I reached high school my father's grocery store had made our life adequately comfortable and I was able to choose, without any practical encumbrances, the subjects that I wanted to pursue in college.
For our immediate family and relatives, Canada was a land of opportunity.
About seven years later I was given a book about the periodic table of the elements. For the first time I saw the elegance of scientific theory and its predictive power.
I should mention that while I was growing up, Einstein was presented as a worthy role model for a young boy who was good at his studies.
My intention was to enroll at McGill University but an unexpected series of events led me to study physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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