Temple Grandin is an animal scientist whose work designing cattle pens and corrals revolutionized slaughterhouses in the 1970s and '80s. Today, she estimates that half of the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed.

Grandin, 62, is also autistic and lectures tirelessly at conferences across the country telling her life story and advocating early therapies for the disorder. She lives in Fort Collins, CO, where she is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. She credits her autism for her special ability to empathize with animals.

The biographical film "Temple Grandin," which aired on HBO in February and starred Claire Danes, ignited a new interest in Grandin and her work. The scientist squeezed in a phone call with the Washington Post while on a layover en route to an autism meeting in Pennsylvania.

To read the interview, link here.