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" I think my job is to leave some evidence for future generations that there was somebody who cared while we were destroying everything. "
" Women scientists' hands are like every other woman's hands. "
" The turkey oak can grow practically submerged within the wetlands of Mississippi, its leaves soft as a newborn's skin. "
" I have learned that nothing gets readers so fired up as saying something everyone knows is true. "
I Have Learned
" My lab is the place where I put my brain out on my fingers. "
" I feel like I'm the same scientist I was back when I couldn't get a grant. Now I'm that same person thinking that same way getting grants. That system of external rewards in science has always mystified me. It's fickle. And I also don't think it was constructed with people like me in mind. "
" The wood of any tree growing anywhere records fairly faithfully the oxygen and hydrogen chemistry of the water the plant has access to through precipitation. "
" In New England, the pin oak thrives, its leaves tipping to a thorny point in a good-natured impression of its evergreen neighbor, the holly bush. "
" People love the ocean. People are always asking me why I don't study the ocean, because, after all, I live in Hawaii. I tell them that it's because the ocean is a lonely, empty place. "
" You can't drive through Iowa and not think about farming: No less than 85 percent of the land in the state is devoted to farms, many of them more than 1,000 acres. This is the place where seeds are sown. It's where farmers grow the corn that will be fed to pigs as grain or fed to you as syrup or fermented to ethanol for your gas tank. "
" Science is so incremental and so full of setbacks and small steps forward. In order to really thrive in this business, you have to be able to glean as much joy from the failure days and from the small increments as you do from the breakthroughs. "
" A cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn't killed it yet. "
" In my Scandinavian-American family, we were conditioned never to sit, at least not comfortably. I was endlessly going back to work. We longed for the fleeting respite of being useful and regarded sleep as a reward for exhaustion, always to be deferred until after the sun goes down. "
" I grew up in my father's laboratory and played beneath the chemical benches until I was tall enough to play on them. "
" The world breaks a little bit every time we cut down a tree. It's so much easier to cut one down than to grow one. And so it's worth interrogating every time we do it. "
" The live oak can grow sturdily on the hottest hills of central California, contrasting dark green against the golden grass. "
" There is a fundamental and culturally learned power imbalance between men and women, and it follows us into the workplace. The violence born of this imbalance follows us also. We would like to believe that it stops short of following us into the laboratory and into the field - but it does not. "
" I think it's very common that scientists or technical people have an artistic side. Sometimes they are very accomplished musicians. Sometimes they have very fine tastes according to art or design. And often, they've spent a big chunk of their childhood or they're growing-up years trying to get in very good at those activities. "
" One thing that was very important to me was that I felt comfortable in the lab from being very, very small. I knew that that's where I belonged, and I could fix things and move things. And no matter how many classrooms I went into where I was the only girl in the physics class or whatever, I never questioned the fact that I didn't belong there. "
" I spend a lot of time talking to other scientists and writing to other scientists. "
" A tree's wood is also its memoir. "
" Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that towers over it. "
" I love the quiet forest that stands between my lab and my home. "
" Women live in a world where we are forced to consider our safety at every turn. We minimize risk while we maximize activity. It's this constant balancing act that we do. "
" No matter how much funding I get, I'm always thinking, 'This is temporary. This is fragile. It could all end tomorrow, and how am I going to make today worth it? If this is my last day in the lab, what can I do so that I can walk out of here saying, 'That was a good day?'' "
" I grew up in a time when there were very few women in the physical sciences. And people started to ask me, 'How did you decide to become a scientist?' And I couldn't really answer. I always knew I'd grow up to have a lab because my dad had one. "
" The type of science that I do is sometimes known as 'curiosity-driven research.' This means that my work will never result in a marketable product, a useful machine, a prescribable pill, a formidable weapon, or any direct gain. "
" Ask a science professor what she worries about. It won't take long. She'll look you in the eye and say one word: 'Money.' "
" My earliest memories are being in the lab, and the way the cement felt and the way it smelled, and the way the countertops looked and it just being this wonderful, warm, happy place where it was just full of toys. "
" I am not the only scientist to be struck by the power and meaning of Lamium album in bloom. "
" I think being a scientist is a position of respect and power and access, and it's a privileged position in society. And I think there are fundamental mechanisms that keep men and women from achieving the same level of power and access and privilege in society. "