I just got the new The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013
I've only read a couple of the entries and will come back with a full review later but I had to share a paragraph from the editor's introduction which sort of summarizes all of modern science and the personalities in one paragraph.
He's speaking of Gregor Mendel father of modern genetics:
"How on earth, then, did this man, in this place, unlock the secret of genes? Newton had his cometary intellect; Einstein was born a rebel and bred to defy convention; Feynman was the comic genius of physics, exposing his discipline’s vanities like a jester in a court of fools. But Gregor Mendel? The founder of modern biology seems, in contrast, to have been born without contrast—a man of habits plodding his way among men in habits."