I didn't know Laura van Dam particularly well, but I did have the chance to work with her. In 1993, while I was in college, I was an intern at Technology Review, where she was a senior editor. It was a good experience for me, thanks in no small part to Laura, who always had time for this unpolished kid who seemed to always be running off to the lab to finish my thesis. She was infinitely patient, particularly with the pieces that didn't make it into the magazine. I probably learned more when she gave me constructive feedback on those than I did doing anything else. I ran into her at conferences a few times after that, and she was always genuinely interested in where I had landed at various points in my still-young career. She later left Technology Review for Houghton Mifflin, and then became a freelancer. Along...

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