Take inspiration in 2009 from those around us

As we dive into a new year that's certain to be filled with joy and challenge, disappointment and success, we should take inspiration from those people featured in today's paper as those to keep an eye on in the coming year.

These people - some of whose names are well known, others may be less so - are at the forefront of what's made the region a leader in the scientific community for many years. From the halls of our research institutions to the classrooms of UCSD and the labs and offices of local companies, these people are setting the pace for years to come.

Whether it's an entrepreneur like Larry Bock who's pulling together the inaugural San Diego Science Festival or a leader like William Brody who will take over the reins of the Salk Institute this spring, these people represent the dedication that should inspire us to think big.

The list could go on and on, with the likes of UCSD Prof. Joseph Wang, a superstar in the rapidly developing field of nanbioelectronics, or marine ecologist Stuart Sandin of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who is expected to play a role in formulating ways to protect and preserve marine ecosystems.

Within the work of each of these people are hints about what it takes to succeed: dedication to a task, commitment to success, a willingness to carry on in the face of obstacles and an ability share their knowledge.

Next week we'll go beyond the halls of science to find more people who are likely to play a role in our own neighborhoods.

While all of these people, be they leaders in science, politics, sports or education, may have a more public role than many of us, we all have a role to play. For some that role is highlgy visible, for others it is often behind the scenes.

As we move into another year and the many opportunities ahead, let's seek ways to look to one another for hope and to inspire each other to make our communities better by simply being kinder, more thoughtful and supportive of each other.

Happy New Year.

   
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