Rolling with Change

Emma Faust Tillman spent four days as the world’s oldest women last week. She was 114 years and 67 days old when she died January 28th. Born in 1982 1882, Tillman outlived her husband by 68 years and had 16 great-great-great grandchildren.

Things have changed a lot over the twenty-five years I’ve graced this earth. I remember coming home from summer camp one year to find that my parents had purchased a VCR – how exciting! I remember buying my first tape, cd, and iPod. I remember when gas and milk were cheaper and my town put a cross up on the water tower each Christmas.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to see 114 years of changes. When Emma was born, Thomas Edison had just gotten a patent for a two-way telegraph and Ellis Island had just begun accepting immigrants to the United States.

Emma was born to former slaves and was the first black student to graduate from her high school. She voted in the first election women were allowed to vote in – and just barely lived to see a women and a black man announce their intentions to run for president. She was a woman who saw change.

I’m not sure why I connect this story with science. I think because in a way science is the study of change. Why it happens, why it doesn’t happen, when and how…Lots of science and technology is the result of changes in politics, priorities, climate…My guess is that some of the most successful scientists are ones who can roll with the changes, like Emma.

You may also read these articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *