First Person
Aaron Klug
Aaron Klug
Josh Roberts | Aug 1, 2004
Aaron Klug's career has taken many turns, spanning physics, biology, chemistry, and administration. 
Richard Dawkins
The Scientist Staff | Jun 20, 2004
Amid stacks of books in the front room of his house near Oxford University, writer and evolutionist Richard Dawkins points to a piece of memorabilia: A replica of the Australopithecus africanus skull known as "Mrs. Ples," a gift to him from a 1997 lecture in South Africa. Dawkins, who spent the first two years of his life in East Africa, still remembers the whitewashed huts his parents built near the Mbagathi River, a scene he calls his private Eden. "On a larger scale, Africa is Eden to us all,
Peter Wagner
Christine Bahls | Jun 6, 2004
Tell us about your scientific evolution as an adultCourtesy of Peter WagnerI left Germany in 1989 for Switzerland. I was always interested in interdisciplinary work, and I enjoy going to places to find smart people. I studied biochemistry and chemistry in Switzerland and Germany. I received a Humboldt Fellowship from Germany to study at Stanford. I arrived in the US in 1995.What did you do at Stanford?When I left Switzerland, I combined three fields: protein engineering with materials science an
Harold Varmus
The Scientist Staff | May 23, 2004
What was the genesis of the Public Library of Science?Courtesy of Harold VarmusA conversation with Pat Brown in San Francisco in December 1998, a year before I left the NIH, about the open-access preprint archive that physicists had set up at Los Alamos National Laboratory got me thinking for the first time about open-access publishing in biology and medicine. The Public Library of Science began as an advocacy group for the NIH archive, PubMedCentral, about a year after I left the NIH. Subsequen
Denis Duboule
Christine Bahls | May 9, 2004
What happened when the science bug bit?Courtesy of Denis DubouleIt overrode everything else. It's a little bit of a problem now; it's all or nothing. It's something you are always thinking about, even when climbing a mountain, or swimming with children in the sea.What else changed?I have stopped playing tennis, stopped playing music, but I ride a bike; it's also obsessional. I race against myself. It may have something to do with reaching 50. [He's 49] You have to show yourself that you can stil
J. Craig Venter
Christine Bahls | Apr 25, 2004
Do you believe that biological production of hydrogen will exist someday?File PhotoMolecular biologist J. Craig Venter is a scientist whose status transcends his own circle. Within the last year, Venter has been interviewed or mentioned in dozens of newspaper stories. His bold, singular scientific adventures generate comment and criticism, and his direct, conversational approach sounds more plebian than patrician. He's not a man who readily bows to barriers, a quality the press finds irresistibl
Leroy Hood
Christine Bahls | Apr 11, 2004
Tell us about your recent birthday partyCourtesy of The Institute of Systems BiologyMy wife organized a symposium. It was wonderful. Some of my students that I haven't seen for 20 years attended. The thing that I found the most interesting was how diverse the directions were that my students took. It validates my ideas on how to educate people, to be flexible, and to be willing to explore new things.What scares you?I don't think that this scares me [because] I am confident it will work in the en
Philippa Marrack
Christine Bahls | Mar 28, 2004
What's the secret of your successful partnership?Courtesy of Philippa MarrackWe're interested in the same intellectual puzzles. [The T cell is] real interesting; it usually does the opposite of what you think it should do. We have a shared passion for this, understanding how this cell works.Have your first impressions of the United States changed?When I came here, my first impression was that everybody, including the guy pumping gas, believed that life had possibilities. I came from class-ridden
Mary-Claire King
Sam Jaffe | Mar 14, 2004
You were at Berkeley, the center of activism in the 1960s, during a tumultuous time. Do you recall it with nostalgia or regret?Courtesy of The Seattle TimesMainly pride. I don't indulge in nostalgia about that period because it was a terrible time for our country. It's very American: When you see something wrong, you try to fix it. The single most effective thing we did was on the day after the US invaded Cambodia, we got out our suit jackets and shirtwaist dresses – not clothes that any o
Mario R. Capecchi
Christine Bahls | Feb 29, 2004
How did you survive as a child?Courtesy of Mario R. CapecchiPart luck, part [ly being] resourceful, you had to get food by stealing. I became fairly good with it.... Once you are operating in a particular area, and your cover is blown, then you move on.What scars remain? What strengths did you gain?The easiest way is not even to think about it. The strengths are self-reliance. There are different ways of doing science. What we like to do [at this lab] is do it all ourselves.... To me, it's impor