I began my graduate studies in experimental psychology at California State University-Fullerton. I was still a Christian, although the foundations of my faith were already cracking. Out of curiosity, I registered for an undergraduate course in evolutionary biology….I discovered that the evidence for evolution is undeniable and rich, and the arguments for creationism that I had been reading were duplicitous and hollow….Since I was no longer exclusively surrounded by Christians, there were no social penalties for being skeptical – about anything. 

Religion almost never came up in the classroom or lab. We were there to do science, and that is almost all we did. Religion was simply not part of the environment. So it was not the fact that I learned about evolutionary theory that rent asunder my Christian faith; it was that it was okay to challenge any and all beliefs without fear of psychological loss or social reprisal.
—  Michael Shermer

Are Nasty Comments Like These Keeping Women Out Of Science?

“It’s death by a thousand cuts. Every day you’re faced with some comment, some snide remark, some inability to get a name on a research paper. And with an accumulation of those experiences, women tend to walk with their feet.”

Go here to read more infuriating stories about women in science. 

People didn’t treat me as someone with science ambitions… They treated me as someone they thought was going to mug them, or who was a shoplifter. I’d be in a department store and security would follow me. Taxis wouldn’t stop for me. And I was just glad I had something to think about other than how society was treating me…
Teachers would say ‘You should join this or that team’, not the physics club. My fuel tank had been stoked since I was nine, but it took some energy to overcome this resistance. I wondered if there was a lost generation of people who succumbed because their fuel tanks were a little smaller than mine.
One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.
—  Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
Shit can be traced back to the Old English verb scitan (which meant exactly what it does today), and further back to Proto-Germanic skit (the Germans still say scheisse), and all the way back to the Proto-Indo-European word (c. 4000 BC) skhei, which meant to separate or divide, presumably on the basis that you separated yourself from your faeces. Shed (as in shed your skin) comes from the same root, and so does schism.

An odd little aspect of this etymology is that when Proto-Indo-European arrived in the Italian peninsula they used skhei to mean separate or distinguish. If you could tell two things apart then you knew them, and so the Latin word for know became scire. From that you got the Latin word scientia, which meant knowledge, and from that we got the word science This means that science is, etymologically, shit. It also means that knowing your shit, etymologically, means that you’re good at physics and chemistry.

—  Mark Forsyth (The Inky Fool), The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language