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Warren Buck
Lisa Hall, special to The Skanner
Published: 13 November 2014

UW Bothell physicist and chancellor Warren Buck

UW Bothell physicist and first chancellor Warren Buck has been chosen as a History Maker -- a select group of African Americans who have made substantive contributions in their fields.

On Friday, Nov. 7, Buck was honored at the Library of Congress, where his oral life story will be permanently housed. The History Makers include movie stars, athletes, scientists, among others.  Buck was one of 400 invited to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

Anyone who has encountered Buck knows that his passion runs deep when it comes to physics and the sciences. The “skinny kid” who grew up in Washington, D.C. explained why.

Hall: Can you tell me what this achievement means to you?

Warren Buck: It is so meaningful that the skinny kid growing up in D.C. has part of his history housed in the Library of Congress in his hometown!

Hall: There is a short video on your History Maker page. Will there be a longer one?

Buck: There is a longer one that has already been filmed that anyone will be able to access.  The History Makers website will give directions for that.  They will finish filming me in the near future

Hall: Why physics?

Buck: I fell in love with physics in undergraduate school because it’s soooo beautiful. I find it so amazing that a few assumptions together with a few equations can explain so much of our physical world!  And, I get paid to play with it!

Hall: Why do you want to inspire others to consider the sciences?

Buck: The sciences provide another perspective that helps us gain more knowledge of where we live in this universe.   When we learn about the science truths, it brightens our beings and encourages us to learn ever more.  The great thing about that is that there are an infinite number of things to learn, so this will keep an infinite number of generations busy for a long time.

Hall: What would you say to a young person who may not have the idea of being a scientist on their radar?

Buck: It is a great way to see the world and learn about other cultures!

Hall: What is the future of science? What should young people be considering?

Buck: As long as we are able to reason, there will be science. More exploration of space is in our future.  When we explore, we discover things such as the earth is not flat and the stars do not revolve around the earth.  Young people should consider all possibilities; and, if they are told it is impossible to do something, they should know they are talking with someone who hasn’t done that thing themselves.

Hall: What should educators know when it comes to teaching science?

Buck: Give students great tools to work with; and don’t constrain the student from attempting to use a tool for an application never before attempted.

Hall: What was it about UW Bothell that brought you here?

Buck: What brought me here was the great opportunity to build a wonderfully new campus for a great university.

Hall: What keeps you here?

Buck: The students.

About UW Bothell:  With more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, UW Bothell emphasizes close student-faculty interaction and critical thinking. UW Bothell builds regional partnerships, inspires change, creates knowledge, shares discoveries and prepares students for leadership in the state of Washington and beyond. For more information, visit www.uwb.edu.

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