DANIEL MAZIA 1912-1996

There are many paths in the advancement of science, but the giant leaps in our Science of the Cell have been made by seeing. First we see and then we interpret and only then do we pursue mechanisms and theories. The earliest microscopes discovered the cell and with that came sensible thought about the nature of living things. How profound a generalization! - that all the immense variety of life can be comprehended in cells which have so much in common with each other. A century ago, the microscope answered a number of great questions about how life goes on: fertilization, mitosis, and the basis of growth, chromosomes as the carriers of heredity, development and social behavior of cells. Now you will be seeing recent technical advances in imaging, learning how the fine points of the physics and chemistry of cells are revealed by microscopes. Some new equipment is fancy and expensive, but you can deal with major questions about chromosomal genetics and cell organization with simpler traditional microscopes.

The gifts of the microscopes to our understanding of cells and organisms are so profound that one has to ask: What are the gifts of the microscopist? Here is my opinion. The gift of the great microscopist is the ability to THINK WITH THE EYES AND SEE WITH THE BRAIN. Deep revelations into the nature of living things continue to travel on beams of light.

-Daniel Mazia, January 1996