A former colleague of mine was attending a faculty function when he struck up a conversation with another professor. My friend had spent his 35-year career doing research and outreach in economic and community development helping communities, big and small, grow their economy and improve the quality of life. The other professor was an aeronautical engineer.
As they shook hands and introduced themselves and their work, the engineer said with a broad smile, "What you do isn't rocket science, is it?" Just as my friend was about to take offense, the engineer added, "It's harder than rocket science."
As strange is it may sound, the engineer was right. The things we try to do as a community -- keep our streets safe, make sure our kids have the education they need to be successful, assure that everyone has a clear pathway to the middle class and beyond -- are harder than sending a rocket to the moon.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.