A monthly column with rotating authorship, where Lateral asks some of our regular contributors to highlight a scientist, past or present, who changed, inspired or excited them.
Having no time for ambiguous terms in biology, Patrice Jones was led to Ashley Montagu, who fought for race to be dropped as a biological distinction at a time when it was embedded in culture.
Tessa Evans muses about the time she thought she might become a perfume chemist, inspired by Luca Turin, the man who (may have) made sense of scent.
Misunderstood for decades, pioneering geneticist Barbara McClintock prompted Jack Scanlan to wonder: what’s the point of scientific ideas if we can’t communicate them to others?
As one of the most successful and recognisable figures in Australian science journalism, Elizabeth Finkel's style and passion helped launch Nicki Cranna into a career that combines writing, art and science.
His life was short and his scientific accomplishments modest, but Bruce Frederick Cummings’ personal journal made a lasting impact on Andrew Katsis.
He was a menace in the lab, but Oliver Sacks’ clinical compassion and insightful way with words inspires Clare Watson to keep an open mind while finding her own niche.
Famous for his Bad Science column in the Guardian, Ben Goldacre is a beloved science activist. For Ellen Rykers, he was the catalyst to get her out of the lab and into writing about science instead.
She stood out as a trailblazing woman in the field of theoretical biology. But for Diana Crow, the life and work of Lynn Margulis gives us lessons we can all put into practice.
Comparing ourselves to our heroes is never easy, especially when that hero made physics cool in the 80s. Tim Newport explores how imitating our idols doesn’t necessarily lead to success.
For a modern scientist, the ivory tower is no longer an option. Seeing how Pia Winberg formed partnerships with industry enthralled Nicole Fetchet as a new way of doing science.
In the Age of Enlightenment, she was a provocative figure who used all the tools at her disposal to rise to the top. But Nicola McCaskill despairs many are still unenlightened about her fascinating life.
What do you do when your science is a bust? For Emma Beckett, the most famous failed experiment in the history of physics was nothing short of revelatory.