Bruce Stillman on Competition in Science
  Bruce Stillman     Biography    
Recorded: 14 Aug 2003

I think, if you think of science as a competition then you’re doing the wrong thing. There is a competitive aspect of science. Actually as one gets older one becomes more philosophical about the competition. I would rather, and actually have in my career, publish a more substantial paper than publish one first. Other people in my field have not done that, and have as a consequence published a lot of, I think wrong things—[things which] have not held for a length of time. And so, competition—there is competition but actually I think if you worry about the competition you’re not a good scientist.

Molecular biologist and biochemist, Bruce Stillman, received his Ph.D. from the John Curtain School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in 1979. His long affiliation with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory began in 1979 when he arrived as a postdoctoral fellow. He became a member of the scientific staff (1981), Senior Scientist (1985), Assistant Director (1990), Director and Chief Executive Officer (1994), and President (2003), the position he currently holds. Stillman has also been Director of the Cancer Center at CSHL since 1992.

His research concerns DNA replication, yeast genetics, cell cycle and chromatin structure. His work has elucidated the reason why DNA sequences and silenced states of chromatin are pass through generations. His lab is concerned with understanding the mechanisms and regulation of DNA replication in eukaryotic cells, a process that ensures accurate duplication and inheritance of genetic material from one cell generation to the next.

Bruce Stillman has received numerous awards and honors and research awards. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (1993), and as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2000).