Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics whose current research topics include jets from young stellar objects, bipolar outflows from evolved stars such as planetary nebulae, and massive stars. He has been a regular contributor to Discover Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, and NPR.
Back in 1972 the library in my hometown wasn't very big. But its size didn't matter much to my 10-year-old sensibilities. That was the year I discovered their collection on the U.S. space program. Those few books where big enough to help change my life.
I spent the whole summer poring over images taken by NASA astronauts and space probes. I decided one day, no matter what, I was going to be a scientist too.
That experience turns out to be almost universal for the last three generations of U.S. scientists.