In Your Ear: Renowned Physicist Shirley Jackson Every now and then we ask our guests what music is playing in their collection. Today, renowned physicist and president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shirley Jackson, shares her playlist.
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In Your Ear: Renowned Physicist Shirley Jackson

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In Your Ear: Renowned Physicist Shirley Jackson

In Your Ear: Renowned Physicist Shirley Jackson

In Your Ear: Renowned Physicist Shirley Jackson

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Every now and then we ask our guests what music is playing in their collection. Today, renowned physicist and president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shirley Jackson, shares her playlist.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now an academic star gives us an education in music. It's a segment we call In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of our guests about the music that's at the top of their personal playlist. Today we hear from physicist Shirley Ann Jackson. She is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic University, one of the nation's top research universities.

Jackson is the first woman and first African-American to hold that post. We asked her a rather unscientific question about the music she's listening to these days.

Ms. SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON (Physicist): I'm Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a mild-mannered physicist for the Daily Planet.

(Soundbite of music)

Ms. JACKSON: I like classical music and I've always listened to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony over and over.

(Soundbite of song, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony")

Ms. JACKSON: And this is relaxing to me.

(Soundbite of song, "Respect")

Ms. JACKSON: I like blues. I like rhythm and blues. The cuts I like are ones that Aretha sings, you know, "Respect."

(Soundbite of song, "Respect")

Ms. ARETHA FRANKLIN (Musician): (Singing) What you want, baby I got it. What you need, well, you know I got it. All I ask is for a little respect. Come on. Just a little bit. Hey, baby. Just a little bit. When you get home. Just a little bit. Mister. Just a little bit.

Ms. JACKSON: These are things that I like, and I like inspirational songs. And there is one that Whitney Houston used to sing. It's: I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

(Soundbite of song, "Greatest Love of All")

Ms. WHITNEY HOUSTON (Musician): (Singing) I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.

Ms. JACKSON: Give them a sense of pride.

(Soundbite of song, "Greatest Love of All")

Ms. HOUSTON: (Singing) Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be. Everybody's searching for a hero. People need someone to look up to. Never found anyone who fulfilled my needs. A lonely place to be.

Ms. JACKSON: This is an important message, and I listen to it a lot because it's been motivational.

(Soundbite of song, "Greatest Love of All")

Ms. HOUSTON: (Singing) I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow.

MARTIN: That was Shirley Ann Jackson telling us what's playing in her ear.

(Soundbite of song, "Greatest Love of All")

Ms. HOUSTON: (Singing) At least I live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity. Because the greatest love of all is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all inside of me.

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