Ulrich P. Strauss, the former chair of the chemistry department at Rutgers University who died August 7 at the age of 95, was remembered at a memorial service last weekend at the Zimmerli Museum in New Brunswick. A few of us from U.S. 1 attended the “celebration of life” because of our long-time association with Strauss’s wife, classical music writer Elaine Strauss. Even though we barely knew “Ulli” Strauss, we walked away from the event with some lasting memories.
One of his four children, Evi Strauss, talked about a conversation with her father when she was considering changing her career from scientist to science writer. The daughter recalled her father’s analysis of how some people read scientific papers as if they were flying over them in an airplane — intent on simply getting to the conclusion to see if they agreed with it or not. Real scientists, he said, would immerse themselves in the details and keep an open mind. Not bad advice for journalists, either.
We have written often about the relationship between business and the arts. After the Strauss event we realized we should say business and science and the arts. Strauss’s mother was a violinist and his father a cellist — Ulli considered a career as a pianist. He pursued mathematics and then switched to chemistry for his Ph.D., but he retained a strong interest in music. Four piano pieces were played at the celebration — by Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, and — to the great delight of the audience — a toccata composed by Strauss himself as a young man.
The first musical piece, Mozart’s Fantasie in C Minor, was a testament to the fact that U.S. 1 has a music writer who knows her subject matter intimately: Elaine Strauss performed the work. For those of us who were there in person it will be as lasting a memory as any of the hundreds of articles she has written for U.S. 1 over the past 25 years or so. Bravo to the Strauss family.
#b#To the Editor: Vote for Science#/b#
I write in support of Andrew Zwicker’s and Maureen Vella’s campaign to represent the 16th Legislative District in the state Assembly.
Zwicker, as a Princeton University scientist, brings his experience of relying on evidence, not political ideology or rhetoric, in making decisions. Vella, as a lawyer and former judge, looks at all sides of an issue before making a decision. We need these two people to bring their intelligence and good judgment to the state Assembly to help solve the challenges facing New Jersey today and to right the wrongs of the Christie administration.
Zwicker knows the environment is critical to our health and New Jersey’s economic growth. He has spent his life working on a clean renewable energy source. Both Zwicker and Vella support restoring the women’s health care funding that Governor Christie cut so that the women of New Jersey can regain access to the high-quality reproductive healthcare they need and deserve.
Carol L. Golden
575 Snowden Lane, Princeton