"If you knew this would be the last lecture you would ever give, what would you say?"

That was the question given to University of Arizona astronomy professor https://www.as.arizona.edu/people/faculty/mccarthy.html">Don McCarthy and two others at an event on campus earlier this week.

Their answers, in the form of short lectures, were great. (I'll be posting the other two lectures separately.)

Here are five take-away points from my notebook from Professor McCarthy's lecture. You can listen to the full 15-minute lecture by clicking play on Related Audio Clips.

  • "We live in a remarkable time. ... A golden age of discovery in which we are learning about our very origins."
  • "When did you first see a picture of the whole Earth from space? ... It's a priceless view of how we fit in."
  • "The universe has to be exactly the way it is in order for our existence to occur. It has to be the same size it is, the same age, the same recipe and so on, in order for life to exist in just one place."
  • "Science and numbers are OK. They are your friends. ... Science and faith are not enemies."
  • "You must listen to http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/JFK-Speeches/Special-Message-to-the-Congress-on-Urgent-National-Needs-May-25-1961.aspx"> this 20 minute speech by former President Kennedy."

Campus Correspondent is a higher education news blog at the Arizona Daily Star. Follow reporter and blogger Becky Pallack on Twitter.