I grew up surrounded by scientists. Between the ages of 5 and 10 I lived on the grounds of Cold Spring Harbor Labs (CSHL). We lived in the Stables, or what once were the stables.
I witnessed the influx of scientists in the summers when the Lab hosted lectures. They would walk to the beach, talking all the way, then sit tentatively in the sand for a few moments before returning for afternoon sessions. They gathered on the lawn of Blackford Hall to eat barbecue in the evenings. Occasionally, my dad would invite a few over for dinner. Those nights seemed to last forever: men (they were almost always men) absorbed in conversation about things I knew nothing about. When the summer ended, we reclaimed the Lab grounds, the beach, our home.
Between diaper changes, preparing meals, feeding kids and men, and cleaning up after kids and men, my mom and my aunt talked about the scientists. I heard about their affairs with their technicians, their lack of table manners, their eccentricities, which I already had begun to notice.