F. Sherwood Rowland, president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Bren Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, leaning back in his desk chair, is about to hold forth on his favorite subject, atmospheric chemistry. But before he can begin, Donald Blake, a senior researcher and Rowland's right-hand man in the lab, pops in the door.

Blake, carrying a clipboard with a checklist of discussion items, quickly apologizes for the interruption as he places several pages of data atop the sea of papers and reports covering Rowland's desk. For the next several minutes, the two men converse about the data and a few administrative matters. Then, with a quick smile, Blake waves goodbye and disappears.

A veteran of Rowland's atmospheric research lab, Blake has learned it takes a wily aggressiveness to capture a few minutes of Rowland's time. And the competition for that time...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?