Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 1

When I was a child, John Cairns was Heather Cairns's daddy and someone my own daddy, Bob Giles, worked with at Tech. 

Decades later, when we happened to be having dinner nearby for my grandmother's 98th birthday, my father re-introduced me to Dr. Cairns, and reminded me that, in addition to being Heather's daddy, Dr. Cairns was an internationally acclaimed expert on water.

I e-mailed Dr. Cairns and asked if he would review the web site information an Inside VTKW blog post here, here, and here about Portaqua, a VT KnowledgeWorks Member Company. Portaqua has devised portable water treatment systems.

If Aristotle, Descartes, or Voltaire had written e-mails, I don't think theirs would have differed greatly from that of Dr. Cairns for erudition, authority, and precision of expression.

I imagined Dr. Cairns's lifetime as a tornado of studying, risking, researching, and probing to acquire knowledge, all funneled into the electronic message in front of me, ultimately reducible to binary 1's and 0's.

To receive such a missive, I felt humble, awed, privileged, and grateful.

Coming next:

Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 2 will address the reply of Rafael Gonzalez, CEO of Portaqua, to Dr. Cairn's e-mail.

Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 3 will contain excerpts from the exchange. 

The series:

Experts and Entreprenurs – Part 1
Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 2
Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 3
Experts and Entrepreneurs – Part 4


  1. Ben Lepene says:

    I had an excellent opportunity to meet Dr. Cairns last week. Not only is he an international expert on water and eco-toxicology, but he is also an inspiring person. He has wealth of knowledge and a genuine concern for people and the environment.


  2. Anne Clelland says:

    I respect, too, Dr. John Cairns, for, even after retirement, continuing to write articles and books–and guest blog entries–to share a life time of experience, research, and wisdom.

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