It's very important to put children in an environment where they can take things apart; where they can break things and then learn to fix them; where they can trust their hands and know their capacity to manipulate objects.

My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe.

Regardless of what humans do to the climate, there will still be a rock orbiting 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.

I think my job is to leave some evidence for future generations that there was somebody who cared while we were destroying everything.

Ask a science professor what she worries about. It won't take long. She'll look you in the eye and say one word: 'Money.'

My experiences have also convinced me that sexual harassment is very rarely publicly punished after it is reported, and then only after a pattern of relatively egregious offenses.

As an environmental scientist, I think our first need is to feed and shelter and nurture. That has always required the exploitation of plant life, and it always will.

Plants are not like us, and the more you study plants, the more different and deep ways you see that they are not like us.

There is a fundamental and culturally learned power imbalance between men and women, and it follows us into the workplace. The violence born of this imbalance follows us also. We would like to believe that it stops short of following us into the laboratory and into the field - but it does not.

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.

I am not the only scientist to be struck by the power and meaning of Lamium album in bloom.

The type of science that I do is sometimes known as 'curiosity-driven research.' This means that my work will never result in a marketable product, a useful machine, a prescribable pill, a formidable weapon, or any direct gain.

I like weeds and hardy plants.

Even a very little girl can wield a slide rule, the cursor serving as a haft.

The world is a fickle place, and it's not fair. But if you're getting most of your rewards from you, then you can use that as a kind of compass, and you can be secure in the fact that you're working for the right reason, and you're going in the right direction.

I am not a farmer; I am a researcher who studies the plants that come to your dinner table, which means that I ask questions for a living.

I think it's very common that scientists or technical people have an artistic side. Sometimes they are very accomplished musicians. Sometimes they have very fine tastes according to art or design. And often, they've spent a big chunk of their childhood or they're growing-up years trying to get in very good at those activities.

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.

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.

Women live in a world where we are forced to consider our safety at every turn. We minimize risk while we maximize activity. It's this constant balancing act that we do.

I am a scientist who studies plants. I like plants. I think about plants almost every hour of the day, and several hours of the night as well.

Women scientists' hands are like every other woman's hands.

A cactus doesn't live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn't killed it yet.

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.

In our tiny town, my father wasn't a scientist - he was the scientist, and being a scientist wasn't his job: it was his identity.

America may say that it values science, but it sure as hell doesn't want to pay for it.

I love rocks with the unconditional love that you lavish upon a newborn baby.

For a tree, to endure four months of daylight is like you or I going without sleep for four months.

I have learned that nothing gets readers so fired up as saying something everyone knows is true.

When I was five, I came to understand that I was not a boy.

A true scientist doesn't perform prescribed experiments; she develops her own and thus generates wholly new knowledge.

Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable.

The live oak can grow sturdily on the hottest hills of central California, contrasting dark green against the golden grass.

The world breaks a little bit every time we cut down a tree. It's so much easier to cut one down than to grow one. And so it's worth interrogating every time we do it.

I'm interested in how the bare bones of the planet, things that aren't alive, are transformed into things that are alive.

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.

Plants are decisive to a fault. A stem produces a bud that flowers once and once only. It offers pollen that is either dispersed or goes nowhere. One pollen grain either enters a stigma or it falls upon stony ground. An ovum is either fertilized or the whole project stalls out.

While both plants and animals awaken via distinct changes in metabolic functioning, most plants prefer to err on the side of caution, waiting for hints of full-on summer before they bloom.

I love to read stories. And I don't to get to talk about my favorite novels very often in my job.

My father was a scientist, and I grew up in his laboratory. Maybe I am like him, but he is not like me.

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!

A tree's wood is also its memoir.

All I have ever wanted is one more day in the lab with the people I care about. And every day that I get that, I am grateful.

Science is performed by people, and it's subject to all the various foibles that plague the rest of our social dynamics.

We have to be very careful about acknowledging that the Internet is very good at combatting isolation, but it's not very good at delivering justice.

I love the quiet forest that stands between my lab and my home.

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 there are fundamental power imbalances between the sexes that play themselves out in society. And I think science is just not immune to that - which actually isn't a very controversial stance if you think about it.