Marcie Black’s Letter to her young genetic self

Dr. Marcie Black is the co-founder and the chief technology officer at Bandgap Engineering. She is developing technology that will reduce the cost of solar electricity. Marcie is Mass High Tech’s 2010 Woman to Watch awardee.

Dear Rhea,

Science Club for Girls asked me to write a letter to my younger self. Instead, I thought I would write this letter to you on advice on your career in general.

As you know, I love science. I love discovering knowledge that no one else knows. Even more , I love applying scientific knowledge towards making the world a better place. I think you also know that I do this both because I enjoy it, and because of you, your brother Simon, and the others of your generation.

“We are in a fragile time in mankind’s path, and we need to apply science and technology to move the world into a more stable, mature, sustainable stage.”

Although I have chosen to dedicate my career to the use of engineering to better the world, this is not necessarily what I recommend for you. Not that you couldn’t be an exceptional scientist: you are so intelligent, curious, and amazingly good at logic, but you have other qualities as well. Whatever you decide to do, you will do wonderfully if you put your heart into it. So my advice to you is to follow your heart, your passion, and your dreams and don’t let difficulties stand in the way. Don’t worry about strange looks from teachers when you tell them what you want to be when you grow up. Don’t worry if those around you don’t look like you do, or even think the way you do. Don’t even worry if some concepts at first don’t come easy for you. If you want to, you will work hard, and eventually grasp any tough concept.

I know you. You are the most thoughtful, kind, and empathic person I have ever met. I know you will choose a path that will help the world. Maybe that path is making policies, improving communication across cultures, writing a book to motivate others, or inventing a way to desalinate ocean water without electricity. My wish is that whatever you do, you enjoy and find meaning in it.

With all my love,


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