Just a quick thought today that I’ve been ruminating over in light of many international crises as of late. What role do we play, as scientists and as academics in general, in international crises? A very wise professor once told me that academics are who the world turns to for answers to tough questions and that because of this you should never devalue your education. Some might take the political strife related to religion as a battle cry to denounce everyone else in the name of “enlightened atheists.” My take is that if you understand the world in a different way from someone else, you shouldn’t shun them for it. There’s nothing to be gained from alienating people or writing them off as barbaric or idiots. I think you have the responsibility to engage people in conversation, to try to reach a way of communicating with them. If you could I think the world would be a better place for it.