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What's Your Legacy To The Future?

Illustration for article titled Whats Your Legacy To The Future?

We think a lot about what we collectively are leaving to the future, both the good (an accounting of landing on the moon and a national park system) and the bad (a depleted ozone and the Pacific garbage patch). But what's your personal legacy to the future?

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Maybe your legacy is some bit of knowledge that you've contributed to the whole of science. Maybe it's something that you've made that you want to pass down. Maybe it's some skill that you've taught others how to do. Tell us in the comments about what you personally are leaving to the future.

Image: 1965 World's Fair / Ron White.

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DISCUSSION

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Chip Overclock®

I hardly ever talk about this, but I endowed a scholarship at my alma mater from where I received both of my degrees in the name of my mentor and thesis advisor. It's not quite enough yet for someone to get a free ride on tuition, but I'm working on that. It is paying out a little, so at least a student or two will get some financial help every term. When I die, I'd much prefer that folks who want to memorialize me in some way contribute to the scholarship fund... and, you know, have an awesome party with good beer and tell mostly true funny stories about me.

Why? I credit my education as one of the primary contributors to the career and life success I've had. I know that a college education is a controversial topic these days, and even I would admit that it probably doesn't benefit everyone when you do a cost-benefit analysis. But it paid off for me.

I might be more emotionally attached to my university than some; not only did I get two degrees there, but I spent fifteen years there, most of it working full time. I still keep in touch with several of my surviving professors, including my thesis advisor, even though most of them retired years ago. I taught for several years, and occasionally hear from one of my former students, which is a delight.