Claire Fraser heads The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland. She has researched microbial genomics since the early 1990s and previously studied G-protein coupled receptors.
TS: What lessons have you taken from the discovery of DNA's structure?
CF: I so vividly remember when I first read Jim Watson's book The Double Helix...in college. I was really starting to get involved in research, and I was actually wrestling with the decision to go on to a career in research or go on to medical school and pursue a career in medicine. What I found so fascinating was that it described the process, the science, the politics, the personalities-sort of in typical Jim Watson-style-with nothing held back. ... It really drove home to me, his book, that like everything else, science is a human endeavor.
TS: Genomics has certainly thrust scientists into the public eye. Do you believe Watson and...