Monday, January 5, 2015

On the Significance of True Baboo

Since this is my first blog post, I've decided to briefly explain the meaning behind the name. Baboo can mean a variety of things, such as a term of respect for adult males, an English-speaking clerk in India, or as a term of endearment made famous by Sally's Sweet Babboo in Peanuts.

For me, baboo began as a term of endearment. As a graduate student in the 1990's, my university's e-mail format was the first letter of the first name followed by the first three letters of the surname. Mine was bbue. My girlfriend at the time, now wife, thought this tag was hilarious and jokingly referred to me as baboo. Neither the joke nor use of the term lasted long, but I would sometimes use it on-line when I wanted to maintain anonymity. Over time, I became baboo.

The meaning for this blog, however, connects more closely with its Indian use. As an English-speaking clerk, a baboo would have played the role of bridging the gap between the English-speaking British, who controlled India, and the native Indian population. The goal of this blog is to bridge the gap between what is known formally through science (broadly understood) and everyday society. The blog will specifically focus on analyzing current events and hot issues through the lens of rational thought and the tools of science. Given how poorly science and scientific thought is understood by the general population, it is my job as an educator and scientist to bridge the gap and bring clarity to the relationship between science and society. My goal, then, is to serve as a true baboo, a genuine go-between and translator in the context of science of the issues that perplex society.

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