Eighties Pop Star Will Become Professor at Johns Hopkins
When I first read that Thomas Dolby, the musician behind 1980s chart-topper “She Blinded Me With Science,” I thought it was a joke on the university’s science-minded students. But it’s actually not a joke at all; Dolby, a digital music pioneer, will become the school’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts.
In recent years, Johns Hopkins has been slowly recruiting some top talent for its formerly-neglected Film & Media Studies program, and Dolby is the newest pick. Starting in the fall, he’ll teach “Sound on Film,” in which students will create their own soundtrack for video projects. Dolby will also serve as artistic director for the school’s new Program in Sound on Film at its Station North location.
“We’re trying to create what I think of as a Silicon Valley for the arts while teaching our students the skills they’ll need,” Dean Katherine Newman told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s a natural fit for us, because scientists and artists are both outside-the-box thinkers.”
Any other 80s pop stars daydreaming about future professorships should note that Dolby has done much more than “She Blinded Me With Science.” He created one of the first software synthesizers, Beatnik, in 1994; helped develop ringtone technology; wrote music for video games, films, and TV shows; and served as musical director for the TED conferences for more than a decade.