Dear LIU Brooklyn Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:
Discovery Day is one of the highlights of the academic year. It is a time to celebrate as a community the joy that comes in uncovering some of the world’s wonders that fire our desire to learn.
Perhaps it is uncommon to use a word like “wonder” to describe the research and creative works displayed on this special day. However, part of the reason for the day itself is to step out of our day-to-day frameworks to simply share the beauty, the order, and the meaning we find through the process of discovery.
A child sitting in a sandbox endlessly carving new patterns in the sand and building castles is, through play, discovering the fundamentals of the laws of physics and of aesthetics. Not only does a child experience enormous satisfaction in actually “toying” with these fundamental intellectual and aesthetic ideas, but is invariably eager to share them with others. Those of us sharing the sandbox or standing beside it are often called to witness the sheer fun in the wonder and beauty the child sees in his or her discoveries.
Likewise, the scientist working in his or her lab is engaged in a process of discovery. The scientist imaginatively explores principles that shape the phenomena we see. Whether attempting to understand the explosive growth of the universe or the effect of how various drugs function on the cell, the scientist’s aim is to discover fundamental principles that make the world what it is. When successful, there is an extraordinary sense of intellectual satisfaction with this newfound coherence, and we, with all the delight we knew as children, enthusiastically share our discoveries.
So it is also with artists who imaginatively work with principles of color and form, of sound and language, to reveal aspects of ourselves and the world that might otherwise go unnoticed. Furthermore, the very act of artistic creation is an attempt to communicate, an invitation by the artist to awaken the aesthetic sensibilities—and, in many cases, the social, psychological and political sensibilities—of those who encounter his or her work. Here again, we experience extraordinary intrinsic power of discovery and of desire to share “the newly revealed.”
Discovery Day is truly about the joy of learning, the joy we experience on an individual basis from day to day, and in forming academic communities such as our own. Let us celebrate with all the enthusiasm for learning the wonders of the world we knew as children.
Vice President for Academic Affairs