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" The live oak can grow sturdily on the hottest hills of central California, contrasting dark green against the golden grass. "
" There is nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule. Its burnished aluminum feels cool against your lips, and if you hold it level to the light you can see God's most perfect right angle in each of its corners. "
" You can pick wild strawberries with your eyes closed, locating them by smell, for they are two parts perfume to one part taste. An hour of searching might yield a handful if you're lucky. Wild strawberries can't be encouraged, nor can they be discouraged: They come to you unbidden and unearned. They appear, or do not, by the grace of the sun. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Your bones are not just made of the last meal you had, but the meals that you've had across many years. By looking at the composition of those teeth, researchers can say that something was a large component of the diet. This tells us a lot about how hominins lived and what they ate. "
" We must feed, shelter, and nurture one another as our first priority, and to do so, we must avail ourselves of our best technologies, which have always included some type of genetic modification. "
" I grew up in a small town. "
" I always knew how privileged I was to think for a living. "
" I have learned that nothing gets readers so fired up as saying something everyone knows is true. "
I Have Learned
" 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. "
" I think the best learning is done with active manipulation. And we need to be able to work with our hands; it's not just about using our brains. "
" I think plants present an opportunity for people to look closely at something and get invested in something that's truly very much outside of themselves. "
" We must continue as in millennia past, nourishing the future as we feed ourselves and, each year, plant only the very best of what we have collectively engineered. "
" My father's schooling during the 1930s was heavy with memorization; eight decades later, he is reaping the benefits. "
" 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. "
" I love the quiet forest that stands between my lab and my home. "
" My father was a physicist, while I am a biogeochemist. I live to study plants, and he has never had more than a generic interest in biology. "
" I love to read stories. And I don't to get to talk about my favorite novels very often in my job. "
" Women scientists' hands are like every other woman's hands. "
" I am a scientist. To be specific, I am a woman scientist. This, I have been told and have come to believe, is a good thing. In fact, it is such a good thing that America needs more of us. Everyone seems to be very sure of this. The thing that no one is sure about, however, is how to make it happen. "
" My lab is the place where I put my brain out on my fingers. "
" The evasion of justice within academia is all the more infuriating because the course of sexual harassment is so predictable. Since I started writing about women and science, my female colleagues have been moved to share their stories with me; my inbox is an inadvertent clearinghouse for unsolicited love notes. "
" I think, as you move to the upper ranks of science - ranks being positions of influence and access - you see fewer female faces. And I think the basic reason is the same reason that you don't see a lot of female faces in Congress or on the Supreme Court or on the directing board of Fortune 500 companies. "
" My life is pretty small. Even as a successful scientist, I'm not a public figure. I like people - I just don't know that many! "
" Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that towers over it. "
" Like all professors, I also do a lot of extra jobs for which I was never trained, such as advising former students as they navigate the wider world. "
" During the mid-1990s, I collected thousands of hackberry fruits from trees all across the Midwest. I chemically analyzed each seed in order to formulate an equation relating the hackberry's mineral makeup to the summer temperature under which it grew. "
" 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. "
" Women study things in order to figure out how they're connected to other things. I don't know if it's controversial to say that, but that's what I've seen from doing science for a couple of decades. "
" When I was five, I came to understand that I was not a boy. "