We all have our different reasons for pursuing science. Many of us are natural tinkerers, and want to know how and why things work. Others discover careers in science along a once medicine-bound pathway. Still others grow up fascinated with bugs, snakes, and large sea creatures. And some of us were inspired by an extraordinary science teacher.

At UC-Berkeley, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by enthusiastic professors who have profound impacts on student trajectories. And although the accolades of the particularly high-impact professors are well sang by their students, there’s nothing like some national prospective to remind us of just how important these teacher-student interactions can be. Imagine my surprise when I visited Science Friday this morning (science radio is a necessity for performing tedious embryo dissections) and encountered a familiar face up front and center. I did a double take … could it be? Yes, it was Integrative Biology’s beloved professor Tom Carlson!