R. Paul Drake is the Henry S. Carhart Collegiate Professor of Space Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has worked as a research physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and had visiting professorships at universities around the United States. He was featured in the BBC’s documentary Hyperspace (2001) and the Discovery Channel’s How the Universe Works (2009). Currently, Dr. Drake is also Director of Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics at the University of Michigan.
Kaizen: How did you become interested in science as a kid?
Drake: I am not sure. I have been interested in how things worked and in doing things connected with understanding and assembling things as long as I can remember. I remember avidly playing with an Erector set, the mechanical precursor of LEGOs. And I remember doing things with a chemistry set at ages when I don’t have a lot of other memories; so for me, it was those kinds of things were interesting to me from the start. Some people have an experience where they get turned on to something that becomes their future. I don’t have that in my background.