Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

It is a great honor and privilege for the guest editors to pay tribute to the remarkable Professor Ilya G. Kaplan. One of us, E.S.K., had the privilege to be partly among Kaplan's many former graduate students and three, O.N., J.S., and J.L., have fruitfully collaborated with him. We all have been good friends of Ilya and the admirers of his work. Here, we present our tribute in a quite unusual format: a dialogue where Ilya Kaplan shares his memoirs of his path to and in science.