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Some pearls of wisdom from Stanford alumni

What a busy week, last one. We will be writing during the week about some of the SharpBrains events that occured. 

The May/June Issue of Stanford Magazine has a nice section titled Just One Question, where a number of Stanford alumni answer the question “What do people in your profession know that you wish everyone knew?”

Some of our favorite answers:

  • Zoe Lofgren, ’70, represents California’s 16th district in Congress. “When all is said and done, the American people decide the kind of American government they get. It’s largely a myth that elected officials disregard the viewpoints of their constituents. That only happens when voters forgo the opportunity to express their point of view or when an elected official (knowingly or not) is preparing to leave his or her elected office. A dozen unscripted, individual letters on a subject are enough to galvanize a member of Congress representing 670,000 people.”
  • Doug Osheroff, the J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics, won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1996. “I wish that more people had an understanding and appreciation of how science is done. That is, how scientists are able to expand the boundaries of our knowledge and at the same time develop new techniques and technologies that really do benefit mankind.”
  • Spencer Sherman, MA ’69, PhD ’71, is a clinical psychologist in Santa Barbara, Calif. “Psychotherapists know that it’s okay to be not okay. That everyone suffers sometimes. That suffering is not unending, unendurable or without value. That confusion and despair have meaning, and that out of them wisdom and compassion emerge. That help exists and that it is sage to ask for it. That strength can be built and happiness learned. That trials and mistakes are necessary parts of that learning. That there is no life free from pain. That it is the pain that drives the growth. That flowers thank the soil from which they rise.”
  • (we are biased here) Alvaro Fernandez, MBA ’01, MA ’02, is CEO and co-founder of SharpBrains, Inc. “Many cognitive neuroscientists wish that more people knew how flexible our brains are throughout our whole lives and what a big difference we can make to ensure a healthy, fit, brain and mind. We can exercise our brains—not just our biceps.”

You can check more answers to Just One Question.

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