Joan Steitz on Jim Watson, Professor
  Joan Steitz     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Aug 2003

So as a lecturer Jim has always had some problems. Although he writes fantastically and he never loses the point when he writes. But sometimes when he’s talking about—not about his own experiences, it’s a little difficult to follow. But when it comes to telling other people how to give talks, other people how to write, he’s absolutely superb! So that part of my education was something that I keep thinking back to and keep bringing up with my own students in terms of how to write a paper, in terms of how to give a talk, in terms of don’t bother spending your time on something unless it’s an important problem. Those are the critical things that make for success in science.

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).

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