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Lee M Silver
professor of molecular biology and public affairs at Princeton University

I’ve been ‘doing’ science, in one form or another, for as long as I can remember. Of course, the ability to do science as a six-year-old is not the same thing as the ability to do science after learning what is already known and what is still up for grabs, in the world that we inhabit. Nevertheless, the fundamental driving force is the same – or at least it is for me.

I was, and am, driven by a desire to understand how things work. This desire led me to take things apart, conduct experiments (before I knew what the word ‘experiment’ meant), and read, read, read about what other scientists had discovered.

Where did this desire come from? In my case, growing up in a middle-class family without any role models, I have to assume that it was in my genes. From the time that I knew what the word ‘scientist’ meant, I never wavered once in my choice of a career.

Lee Silver is author of books including Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.