is a social activity, and its progress depends on researchers
sharing information. Throughout the world, scientists by the
thousands collaborate, compete, and constantly expand our
understanding. Their subjects, environments, and locations
can be as customary as the genetics lab where
Carol Greider studies
, or as exotic as the Antarctic
studies stresses on
the earth. A researcher might focus on theories to describe
phenomena, as does
CERN’s Alvaro de Rujula
work in the field collecting data or doing experiments, like
. Though their work may
be different, all these scientists share a passion for learning
that hearkens back to an innate desire to understand the world
Serving as magnets of intellect, the research outposts we
visited attract great minds from around the globe and across
disciplines. Many of them are scientists, of course. But big
research projects can’t happen without others who have
special knowledge and skills that scientists rely on.
At Mission Control for the Hubble Space Telescope,
Leon Bailey keeps the Hubble’s
Rondeau works the metal
part of NASA’s satellites. In the rain forest of Belize,
with the environment helps botanists like
find plants in remote areas.
And the famous genetic history of
corn is carefully
preserved for researchers by
the devoted farm manager
of Cold Spring Harbor’s Uplands Farm.
The human side of science is revealed in the cultures that
form at research stations. A visitor to CERN can ride a bike
down streets named after famous physicists, or hear science
discussed in almost any language
Station, welding foreman
out a daily e-mail, a bit of news and humor for residents.
When he describes the smorgasbord of creations at the annual
arts and crafts show, he captures the spirit that goes beyond
just doing science: "The talents people have and that
no one knows about are as amazing as the people themselves."