Q: Do you feel that the events of your early childhood impacted your decision to become a scientist, and, if so, in what ways?
A: Yes, Several aspects of my early life probably influenced me. First, I was in poor health for the first ten or twelve years. Consequently, I spent a lot of time reading, which caused me to ask questions that could only be answered in a science-based way. Dad always gave me a good explanation to the questions, but more than once, his answer would be, “I’m not sure,” which prompted me to search for the answer.
One somewhat negative thing that I observed as a child was that a lot of people believed many things about their surroundings, that simply could not be true, simply based on basic observation. People then and now use superstition, rumor, insufficient information or outright lies to base their opinions or make their decisions, and I was influenced early on to want concrete, scientific proof.