Edward Lewis on Teaching
  Edward Lewis     Biography    
Recorded: 04 Jun 2001

I didn’t enjoy teaching. You had to prepare and I rarely did because I could never find my notes. So I had start over again. I never got really totally bored with it [because] I tried to see what happened that was new each year, which is a good discipline at any rate. I think a great deal of it is genetics in some sense. Some of it depends on what you want to do. You have to have some math ability. If you are extremely good at math you turn out to be a mathematician or physicist. Certain sciences require a lot of math, theoretical physics is math; it’s not physics at all. You are endowed with genes that may or may not give you the ability to do math or not. I have some ability but not a lot. …I always liked math, I did very well but I am not a mathematician.

Edward B. Lewis (1918-2004) was a renowned leader in genetics and Drosophila development research. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1942. He served as captain of the United States Army Air Force from 1942-1945 as a meteorologist and an oceanographer in the Pacific Theatre. In 1946, he joined the Caltech faculty and was appointed Professor of Biology in 1956, earning a Thomas Hunt Morgan Professorship in 1966. In 1995, Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development” along with Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus. Lewis is also a recipient of the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal (1983), the Gairdner Foundation International award (1987), the Wolf Foundation prize in medicine (1989), the Rosenstiel award (1990) and the National Medal of Science (1990).