Wednesday, June 13, 2007
RIP "Mr. Wizard"
An icon of my youth has passed on. Don Herbert, star of "Watch Mr. Wizard" in the 1950s and '60s died June 12 from bone cancer. He was 89.
I can't say that watching Mr. Wizard perform science experiments in his kitchen-like set, always with a young assistant, inspired me to become a scientist. But it did help give me a respect for the scientific method, for the idea that we can learn about how our world works. His enthusiasm, his interest in showing us that science is not just a guy in a lab but an understanding of how everyday things operate, helped make me into an inquiring, thinking person.
Clearly, his show struck a nerve with many of my generation. It even became a running gag on the Jim Henson series Dinosaurs: "We're gonna need a new Timmy!"
In our current era, when science is under attack even within our own government, we could use a Mr. Wizard again.