Cycle

Benzene, if you recall, is a molecule whose hexagonal structure can be represented as such:

Benzene molecule represented by different symbols

Benzene molecule represented by different symbols

6 hydrogen atoms linked to 6 carbon atoms in a cyclic manner. As simple and beautiful as it can be. We see this shape also in beehives, by the way.

Hexagonal patterns in a beehive

Hexagonal patterns in a beehive

And legend has it that the chemist who discovered benzene’s circular shape was inspired by a dream he had of a snake seizing its own tail. That, August Kekulé thought, must be how the atoms in the benzene molecule are arranged.

Snake eating its own tail

Snake eating its own tail

But the image that comes to my mind over and over again – whether in my dreams or while awake – is yet another cyclic configuration. It is one which connects the important stages of development from a strong foundation in education to inspiring the next generation of experts, innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists. Progress can only be achieved – and by that I mean both social and economic progress – if there is a strong foundation in education. In scientific education, more importantly. For it is science that drives innovation in engineering and technology, which, in the right hands, can bring about revolutionary changes. If you want a paradigm shift, science can certainly be the impetus you need. But, as shown below in my version of the ouroboros, it all begins with education and scientific literacy.

Scientific education as the driver of innovation and progress

Scientific education as the driver of innovation and progress

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