The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mira Sorvino and scientific fame.

Bizarre as it might seem, Mira Sorvino is famous in the scientific world.

Now, you might wonder how on Earth a Hollywood actress could become known in certain quarters of the scientific community, in a scientific context. What did she discover, you might wonder? When did she find the time to fit a PhD in, in between all those films? How does her film-set schedule allow for laboratory experimentation and profound theorizing?

Well, it doesn't. You see Mira Sorvino having become famous in Hollywood, has been acknowledged by the scientific community in a way which gives her a strange kind of fame. You see, Ainan, 7, pointed out to me, yesterday, that a newly discovered chemical has recently been christened Mirasorvone.

Ainan is fond of filling his mind with rare and obscure scientific information - and this chemical fact is just one nugget. I am informed that there is a beetle called Thermonectus Marmoratus. This beetle uses the newly noted Mirasorvone as a chemical defense (so it is not, actually a very nice chemical!). The common name for this beetle is the "Sunburst Diving Beetle".

The chemical was discovered by researchers at Cornell University. These fans of Mira Sorvino decided to honour her, by naming it after her, owing to her appearance in the film Mimic, which has a strong connection to insects. Curiously, they didn't name the chemical after her character, Dr. Susan Tyler, in the film - but after the actress herself. I suppose Mira should be thankful for that - otherwise she would have missed out on a kind of fame which never dies.

It is my guess that Mira Sorvino will now be known, by some scientists, for as long as there are scientists to know anything. In this way, her scientific fame, modest though it is, being restricted to one chemical name, is certain to outlast any Hollywood fame, she accumulates. Long after all her films have crumbled away, and no-one even remembers what Hollywood was - or, perhaps even, what America was - the chemical name will persist in scientific records - and Mira Sorvino's fame, will endure - even if it is as a nasty chemical. What a strange thought that is.

(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and eight months, who brought Mirasorvone to my attention, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and one month, or Tiarnan, eighteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:11 AM 


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