Aravinda Chakravarti on Competition in Science
  Aravinda Chakravarti     Biography    
Recorded: 31 May 2003

I think scientific competition is part of competition. It’s an activity that all human beings do. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in the social sciences or even in other activities such as the humanities and such. The nature of competition is not the problem… I think competition is a very good way to go forward because it leads to very strenuous tests of new ideas. And I think science would be nothing if we did not compete. So I think competition of ideas is a necessity in going forward.

I think perhaps you mean; are people much more competitive in genomics than perhaps in other fields. Surely because there are many more resources and there’s money. There is much more money than ever existed. Not having worked in other fields I don’t know whether that’s the case or not. But I doubt whether there is any more competition in genetics and molecular biology today oriented with genomics than in other fields. I would tend to doubt it.

Aravinda Chakravarti received his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (1979). After a postdoctoral year at the University of Washington in Seattle, he joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Biostatistics and later the Department of Human Genetics as a professor.

In 1994 he moved to Case Western Reserve as Professor of Genetics and Medicine to apply genomic and computer-based methods to study common diseases that arise from a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors.

Dr Chakravarti is one of the Editors-in-Chief of Genome Research, and serves on the Advisory and Editorial Boards of numerous national and international journals and societies. He is a past member of the NIH National Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute and has chaired the NIH Subcommittee in the 3rd 5-year Genome Project Plan, and continues to serve on several NIH panels.

In 2000 he became Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and was named director of their new McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, where he is currently the Henry J. Knott Professor and Director.