Testimonials for Pioneer Member Anthony Bleecker
Alan Jones – Tony’s joy of science was contagious to me. “Tugboat Jones”
G. Eric Schaller – There are two images I associate with Tony Bleecker. First, the iconic Science magazine cover photograph with the single etr1-1 mutant Arabidopsis seedling looming sky-scraper large over a huddled mass of wild-type seedlings. Second, a photograph of Tony in which he appears to fly, his arms outstretched, smiling, bare-chested, diving in fact, but caught against the sky as if he were Superman and about to launch into space. The first image captures Tony’s incisive scientific ability, a genetic screen that resulted in one of the most powerful images to ever illustrate the power of forward genetics. The second image captures Tony as a person, the love he took out of everything in life and which he shared with everyone around him. Both images are inspirations.
What I will also always value, and still look back on fondly from the time when I was a postdoc in Tony’s lab, are the lunches we spent together. We chowed down at least once a week on pasta at a local restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. Between mouthfuls, we happily debated such age-old questions as the relative merits of the Beetles versus Elvis. More significantly, we always returned to the science at hand and explored various hypotheses to explain recent lab data, and what experiments could resolve these questions. Good food and good science, the joyful combination of the two should not be underestimated. And neither should be the ability of a great scientist to add zest to any meal.