The career I dreamed of?


All I knew—given the limited range of professional lives I could observe from my hometown of textile mills and surrounding tobacco fields—was that I wanted to teach. When I took organic chemistry, from one of the dullest teachers I ever had, I knew I wanted to teach that and that I could do it better. When I took biochemistry in graduate school, I knew I wanted to teach that, too. In applying for the very few academic jobs on offer in the early ’70s, I sold myself as a biochemist and got a small-college teaching job as one. I gradually became one. I taught happily for 37 years, including leaves for research and writing, in schools where teaching was emphasized and research was, they said, encouraged and supported—sometimes with no more than pats on the back. I watched some great students emerge from academic backwaters into the open seas of original research, while others went off into careers using science in all sorts of unexpected ways. Some wandered off. (Keep reading at .)

Ancestors of Science, Edward Alexander Bouchet

Underrepresented Minorities in Science :The Importance of Being Mentored