Linda Buck: It’s puzzle solving, and that’s one of the things I love about doing science. It’s really puzzle solving, and the other part of it is that what you find is so beautiful. Nature’s designs are so elegant. I’m a very empirical scientist. I don’t theorize, because what usually happens is that the answer, the biological mechanisms that are used, are usually far more elegant than the theories that people come up with. Of course, you have to have a hypothesis, or some kinds of ideas to begin to explore. For example, the idea that there are proteins in the nose that recognize odorants was a quite reasonable one, and there was some indirect evidence for it. The question was how to find them. What I decided to do was to try to find genes encoding these molecules. I think Richard Axel also agreed that this was the logical thing to do, so I set out to do that. Instead of looking for a job and getting a faculty position, I stayed on there, with his blessing. I actually looked for a job, and of course, I just said — I didn’t say I was going to work on Aplysia — I said I’m going to do this, which of course, people would think was impossible, and I could never have gotten a grant to look for this, because who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t have found the receptors. So I set out to do it, and I worked very hard to do this.