Blog Posts


Faces of Science: Ruth Patrick

Mariana Cook’s book, “Faces of Science,” portrays 77 scientists who have made many of the most important discoveries of our time. Each photograph is accompanied by a personal essay written by the scientists. The portraits in this online series are accompanied by excerpts from those essays. For more information, please visit Mariana Cook’s website:

Ruth Patrick - Photos and Text ©Mariana Cook “Faces of Science”

When I was a very small child, my father took me on walks in the woods every Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, where we lived. My older sister and I each had our little basket, and Daddy would have a fishing pole like Tom Sawyer. We would collect bugs, worms, mushrooms, flowers, grasshoppers, everything that interested us. We would bring them home and have milk and crackers, and then Father would open the doors to the library. We lived in an old-fashioned house with great big wooden doors that Father would roll back. We’d go in and he’d open his rolltop desk, where he kept four microscopes. He’d pull out the one that was appropriate for what he wanted to show us. If we looked at water, which fascinated me, he would make a glass slide mount and put it under the microscope. I’d crawl up on his knees and peer through the microscope. It entranced me to see such entirely different worlds with the naked eye, very different from what you see with trees and flowers. I became fascinated.

Tell us what you think on Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Mariana Cook

    MARIANA COOK is a fine art photographer whose work is held in numerous institutional and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York City; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Bibliothèque Nationale and Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Ten books of her work have been published, including the best-selling Fathers and Daughters (1994) and the most recent, Justice: Faces of the Human Rights Revolution (2013). Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries was her first book of landscapes, which was released in 2011 to much acclaim. Her website is