"For a long time I didn't want my fun to become my work," she said. But then she began to do experiments on drug-resistant tuberculosis, which involved testing samples in the cool, dark conditions of a cave -- and she was hooked. She often talks to middle-school girls, making it a mission to get them hooked too.
"I've met so many girls who didn't know they were allowed to be scientists," she said. Then she's taken them caving.
"By the end, they could tell you the process by which the cave formed."
I asked Tyrone Hayes if he considered himself to be on a mission, and he paused.
"Hmmm. Yes. I wouldn't be uncomfortable with that word. My mission would be, not only to do good science, but disseminate that science to people -- my mother, for instance, but also legislators. I want my work to be available so that they can make good environmental decisions based on it," he said.