Jim Dahlberg on Cold Spring Harbor Symposia: Changes over Time
  Jim Dahlberg     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

Well the biggest difference is the physical surroundings, of course! Cause Cold Spring Harbor has really improved its facilities in the thirty years or so that I’ve been coming here. And Grace Auditorium, of course, is a major improvement. It used to be that we’d have these symposia in the gymnasium, I guess that’s Bush, is it? Where the posters are now there’d be these card chairs, and it would be pretty miserable actually cause you’d be stuffed in there and if it was hot, you’d open the door and mosquitoes would come in, and it was not all that pleasant but it was, you know, the science was great anyway! And nowadays, of course, it’s air-conditioned and soft seats and everything else. So that’s a big change, and also housing is a lot nicer here now. But I mean those are fairly superficial when it comes to the science part of it. The science—I think there was certainly in the late ‘60s there a real thrill of we don’t know what’s happening yet. And these are the new directions that are coming along. It’s easy of course to develop sort of a nostalgia for something that may not have existed, but there was a lot of excitement about what was going on at the time, and there is now! I mean the “Ribosome” symposium is just terrific! I mean everybody’s really excited with it. The crystal structures and we’re defining the players much better. Its not as if all the answers have been discovered now or found. I mean now we can really ask some really rational questions. So it’s still ongoing. I think in that sense there’s an excitement now every bit as much as there was then. I think the—in terms of the age of the participants I haven’t really noticed. Maybe that’s cause I got older with them. I was thinking about whether it looks like there are a lot of young people here. I think its pretty much the same balance, as it was when I first came. But now I’m on the other end. I’m one of the old guys! (laughter) That’s why you’re asking me these questions.

Jim Dahlberg received his BA 1962, Haverford College, Pennsyvlania, completed his PhD 1966, University of Chicago. Dr. Dahlberg was a Postdoctoral Fellow from 1966-68 in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge under the supervision of two-times Nobelist, Dr. Frederick Sanger. He also did worked in the 1968-69, Universite de Geneve under Dr. Richard Epstein.

Dr. Dahlberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1996, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists (1997) During his career he has been the recipient of many awards including Eli Lilly Award for Biological Chemistry, 1974; H.I. Romnes Faculty Research Fellowship, 1976; Philips Visitor, 1977; Josiah Macy, Jr. Faculty Scholar Award, 1979-80; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1982; Frederick Sanger Professorship, 1991; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993; Fellow, U.W. Hilldale Professor, 1997; Buzzati-Traverso Award for Molecular Biology, Italian National Research Council, 1998; NIH Merit Award, 1998; European Molecular Biology Organization, Foreign Associate, 1998.


He is a frequent visitor to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as well as a speaker at many key Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology.