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As a girl, I had a crush on the two Richards from Kenya. No, I didn’t become a scientist as a result, but I’ve always had a thing for brainy, skeptical naturalists. If they happen to have devilishly sexy looks to match their intellectual prowess, so much the better.

Richard Leakey. No, I won’t make any jokes about bones. That would be too easy. Let’s just say he made me spend a lot of time pondering Homo Erectus.


And if the floppy hair in the above picture doesn’t give you a frisson, try this one with the pipe. O the treachery of images! This is not a pipe but a Freudian symbol…


Then there’s Richard Dawkins, he of The Selfish Gene (1976) and many another book celebrating the beauty and wonder of a universe ruled by Nature alone. I kept waiting for him to turn his laserlike gaze on the Birds and the Bees. And hoping for a personal tutorial.


I haven’t written him a fan letter (yet) but if I met him, I would pretend to be a Young Earth Creationist, in breathless anticipation of being sharply spoken to. Or maybe I’d just offer to send him my latest book, The Selfish Clitoris.


All this, and I didn’t even get started on my Carl Sagan fetish. Thanks for everything, Beautiful Men!