Joan Steitz on Disagreements with Jim Watson
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

Oh, I’ve had times when I didn’t feel that the thing he was espousing was necessarily the best thing to do. But usually he turns out to be right and I turn out to be wrong in the end. So like I mentioned the human genome project which was clearly very much worth doing which I thought was both dull and a waste of time. He’s almost always right. I’ve always gotten along with him very well and that’s partly him and that’s partly me.

Joan Steitz is a prominent molecular biologist who earned her Ph.D. under Jim Watson at Harvard University in 1967. She joined the faculty at Yale University in 1970 and is currently the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and the Director of the Molecular Genetics Program at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale. She is also an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Steitz’s research involves determining the structure and function of small RNA-protein complexes.

She has received numerous awards including the National Medal of Science (1986), the Weizmann Women and Science Award (1994), the Novartis Drew Award in Biomedical Research (1999), the UNESCO-L'Oréal Women in Science Award (2001), and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research (2002).