Steve Vogel passed away today, succumbing to cancer.
Aside from my parents, no other person has had as profound an effect on the course of my life than Steve. I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t have gone into science if it were not for his personal encouragement, inspiration, and energy. As a kid I had an idea of what science might be like from books, but in flesh and in the person, he lived up to every ideal of what I thought a scientist would be. He was boundlessly creative and brimming with ideas, and seemed to bounce around excitedly trying to let you know about the natural world. He saw an interesting mechanical puzzle in every corner of biology, and he was intellectually generous and magnanimous, hoping that you’d run off with one of his ideas and figure out what was really going on. I am just one of many, many people whose lives have been reconfigured by his presence. We are better off for being lucky enough to have known him.