Recorded: 22 Aug 2008
Yeah, I think we had something like 12 members. I mean, the Nobel Prize winners Dan Nathans, Sydney Brenner was not yet a Nobel Prize winner, Jim Watson, and Wally Gilbert and then all these people who ended up being enormously successful – Lee Hood, Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton, David Botstein, Charlie Cantor. We had a great group. I mean I didn’t have anything to do with setting up this committee. And of course Maynard Olson at the end. So Jim Watson on this committee was terrific. I mean he was, his usual insights about the future. I think it was he that had suggested that you know it would be $3 billion dollars and 15 years. I mean how he came up with that, I don’t know! I don’t think anybody actually knows. I think he said that 15 years was as long as anybody could wait for it, so he said 15 years. I think anyway, Jim was a fantastic committee member and he was willing to listen to other people. I think because it was such a potent committee he was restrained. He wasn’t his…he didn’t think he knew everything. And he was great on this committee and a very important part of that. Of course then he became the director of the genome part of the NIH. And he did that very well as well.
Bruce Alberts, currently Editor-in-chief of Science, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the University of California and United States Science Envoy. He received A.B. (1960) in Biochemical Science from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ph.D. (1965) from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1966 he joined Department of Chemistry at the Princeton University and after 10 years he became professor and vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the UCSF.
Alberts work is best known for his work on the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He is one of the authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a major textbook in the field. He served two-six years terms as a president of National Academy of Science (1993-2005). During his administration at NAS, he was involved in developing the landmark of National Science Education standards.
Among many honors and awards (16 honorary degrees), he is Co-chair of the InterAcademy Council and a trustee of Gordon and Betty Moore Fundation.
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