Linda Buck: I love doing science. I love thinking about it. I love trying to figure out how to solve a problem, and I love working with the people in my lab — the students and postdocs — and exchanging ideas, and trying to come up with strategies, and trying to figure out the data. So I don’t work at the bench anymore myself. They work at the bench, and then we discuss data, and we try to figure out what it means, and that’s a lot of fun. Like when you see results that you don’t expect. You thought it might have worked one way, and then you see something that doesn’t really match what you imagined, and then you try to figure out what could be going on. Intellectually, it’s like a game. It’s trying to figure out how to answer a question, and exploring different possibilities and then carrying out — if you’re actually working at the bench, which I don’t anymore — and then looking at the data, and it usually turns out that it doesn’t work the way you thought. Not exactly anyway. It’s really when you get the answers that you didn’t expect that you learn the most. So you see the results, and then you think, “How could that be? Why did we get these results?” And then you get ideas, and that stretches your imagination further, and I think that that’s where the greatest discoveries are made, when you find things that you never imagined. Then you have to work to try to understand them, and then you test those new ideas.