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Water Mill Teen's MLK Essay Published in BU Journal

Boston University student Zoe Strassfield explores what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said about science and technology.

Zoe Strassfield — a Southampton High School alumna and a blogger for Southampton Patch — has a new writing credit for her resume, namely, an essay published in the Boston University Arts & Sciences Writing Program's annual e-journal, WR.

Strassfield's essay, "A Day of Sputniks and Explorers: Martin Luther King on Science and Technology," was chosen in an anonymous process by the journal's editorial board and student volunteers.

The 19-year-old Water Mill resident is an aspiring archeologist and science journalist, who also blogs for Huffington Post College and HuffPost Science.

"As King was not a scientist and mentions of science in his writings usually occur in speeches related to larger social issues, very little has been written about King’s attitudes towards science," Strassfield observed in her journal essay.

But she scoured King's writings, speeches and interviews to find evidence of what the Civil Rights leader believed.

"By examining the speeches and writings of Dr. King, I aim to show that King saw science as a neutral force that could create either harm or ill depending on who was using it," Strassfield wrote. "Science without morality, in King’s view, furthered oppression and led to the creation of deadly weapons. However, when practiced by those who understood the ethic of love, science could be a force for good in the world, improving lives, furthering human understanding of our world, and helping people come together in unity."

Strassfield found that King saw science as a mechanism to bring the world together as one brotherhood.

"Through a creative exploration of King’s writings, Ms. Strassfield reveals King’s relationship to science on many levels," reads instructor Mikel Satcher's introduction of Strassfield's essay. "She makes many claims, but she validates them with solid evidence and consistent documentation of sources."

Satcher went on to write, "The heart of Strassfield’s discussion necessarily focuses on the moral and ethical components of King’s philosophy associated with the human use of science and technology. Accordingly, she maintains the relevance of King’s ethic of love, moral stance on nonviolence, and hope for societal unity — sisterhood and brotherhood — toward the creation of a more humane and just society for all."

Read Zoe Strassfield's essay at bu.edu.

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