I don’t ever remember now wanting to be a scientist.  I had an uncle who was very influential.  He was a scientist who worked on the development of the solar battery at Bell Labs.  And he was somebody that I had admired very much. 

But in addition to having models, I wanted to be a scientist because I wanted to discover things.  I think that being a scientist isn’t something that you choose as a career, it feels like you’re sort of born to be a scientist.  Like in the same sense, you might be born to be an artist because there’s just something inside you that can’t stop trying to figure out how things work. 

And so I think that I’ve always just been aware that that was who I was.  I also wanted to push the boundaries.  There was always a ‘why.’  So if somebody gave me an answer, I wanted to know why that was so. 

And when I couldn’t understand it was something that was very frustrating.  So, there’s the other side to being a scientist is the frustration of not being able to figure something out.  It’s not just fun, it’s hard work.  And that kind of comes with the package or at least, it did with me.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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