OSTP Director John Holdren took time out from his busy schedule to meet with an unusual visitor this week—Flat Stanley. Stanley is one of many Flat Stanleys traveling the world as part of the Flat Stanley Project, which was launched in 1995 as a means of encouraging third-grade students to correspond with one another by mail. The Project has since blossomed into a viral, global, online phenomenon through which Flat Stanley (or reasonable facsimiles) has visited and been photographed at countless destinations around the world.
Although Stanley got some face time with President Obama a while ago, he has never had an audience with the President’s science advisor. That changed the other day when Stan came to the Nation’s capital during his spring break, with traveling companion Daniel Grossfeld from Miss Groia’s second grade class at Unqua Elementary School in Massapequa, New York.
Here Dr. Holdren, who holds degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford, discusses with Stanley what it is like to exist in a space-time continuum more complex than the one to which this well-traveled but ultimately two-dimensional character is relegated.