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Richard Moersch  –  explorer and heart surgeon
Click for larger image " Adventure and exploratory travel not only provide access to the scenic beauty of natural wonders but the opportunity to share experiences with a host of interesting and accomplished people, broadening and extending ones life. "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
  What in the world? and where in the world? are two very familiar questions that have been put to me in the past. They come from people who wonder why I would choose to spend often uncomfortable and occasionally dangerous times –– hours, days or weeks in far corners of the world for the sheer pleasure of being there, experiencing a sense of these areas strange to me, and learning of the people, their lives and the places where they live. All of this gives me not only the pleasure of the moment but also a profound sense of fulfillment in an often chaotic life. Further, it provides a perspective to the self–involved and somewhat restricted life most of us lead. Adventure and exploratory travel not only provide access to the scenic beauty of natural wonders but the opportunity to share experiences with a host of interesting and accomplished people, broadening and extending ones life.

Two factors were paramount in providing the original impetus to pursuing adventure travel. Growing up in the upper Midwest, I had been fascinated by the tales of such writers as Richard Halliburton and Ernest Shackleton, men who had chased their dreams to the far corners of the world, following an inner urge to go beyond where man had been. Their reasons may have seemed chimerical or even inane to some, but their drive and commitment had opened up and revealed much of beauty, wonder and import. During the years of national economic depression, world–wide warfare and progression through the expected non–stop educational advancement of those days, there was little or no opportunity for someone like myself to realize such dreams and they remained just that –– dreams.

The second motivating force was related to my chosen career, that of a cardio–thoracic surgeon (operating on people with diseases of the heart and the lungs). The specialty was a rapidly developing one in those days, with new procedures and techniques making it possible to accomplish much that had not been possible previously. We were, in a sense, exploring new territory in these diseases, going where it had not been possible to go before and doing things that had been regarded as impossible. The connection between the explorers of history and the innovators of surgical procedures was a straightforward one and served to rekindle my earlier dreams. The mind-set and the intellectual approach to both seemed familiar and comfortable. It would be possible to satisfy primal urges and itches, making use of inborn yearnings and instilled approaches to problems. The need for a restoring change in activity and the desire for new and demanding experience could both be satisfied.

  Click for larger image
What can you share about your creative process?
    Regarding the process for creating works of enduring value, I believe that three factors are of importance. The first is that the essence of the work should be truly original and not derivative. The second is that the work (and this could mean visual art, music, writing, etc.) should spring strongly from the strongly–held feelings of its creator. The third caveat would be that there should be a sense of proportion within the work itself; that is, that the parts of the work should relate to each other. I could write at length on this subject, but I believe these three are of paramount importance.  
What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  The third question propounded is a most intriguing one. I would think that in order to give the community a sense of enduring life, there should be a feeling of ownership on the part of the inhabitants. To this end, much of what they see and use should be created by or constructed by the inhabitants. I do not mean that the knowledge and advice of other specialists should not be utilized, but rather that the inhabitants are participants in the creation of the physical community. This would be true for the artistic as well as the more mundane items related to survival and daily living. Those who will be the inhabitants should be expected to be teachers for each other and students for all.  
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