You once told another professor of mine when I was a grad student that you thought I was really smart. That professor rushed to tell me so, and I don’t think I’m imagining that his attitude toward me thereafter was different, more respectful. Don’t underestimate the impact of that boost, witnessed by the fact that I remember it so clearly 30+ years later, but also by how much it meant to me coming (indirectly) from you just as I was becoming aware of the tall gender barriers in academic science.
You and the fields you helped establish to study language and cognition are what brought me to MIT originally, and they remain a large part of my dedication to the Institute. Even in your absence, upon leaving Cambridge for a new life, you and the core values you embody of deep inquiry, consciousness, and integrity loom large for me and so many others here.
It is my sincerest honor and pleasure to know you, to have been your student, editor, and publisher, and to help celebrate your 90th birthday with the production of this compendium of tributes. Many happy returns.
Heart-felt best wishes,