Esteemed Australian scientist Suzanne Cory has had a great few years, according to The Age: In 2004, she was elected to the Vatican's 400-year-old Pontifical Academy of Sciences; French president Nicolas Sarkozy named her a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur last year; and in May, she was the first woman to be elected president of the Australian Academy of Science. But those honors, and her long and accomplished career in genetics, might never have happened if not for a passionate biology teacher she had when she was just nine years old, and another biology professor at university that showed her how exciting genetics could be, The Age's Deborah Smith says. "An expert in the genetics of grasshoppers, his lectures were too dry for Cory's taste. 'Then one day he came in and he was a totally different person,' she says. 'He was electrified by this paper he'd just read showing that the DNA in every chromosome was a single giant molecule. I think he literally imprinted on me that day a love of genes and DNA,'" Smith writes.
Zen Faulkes at NeuroDojo says it may be a cliché to say that enthusiasm is infectious, but that it's true nonetheless. "It's talking about the things that genuinely excites us, the instructors, that can excite our students," he adds.