Recorded: 22 Aug 2008
But, you know, the really striking thing that, besides his double helix, his discovery, was writing Molecular Biology of the Gene. It was published in 1961. And it just put everything in such a conceptual frame. And in a way it’s an inspiration for Molecular Biology of the Cell, which was also Jim’s idea. Basically to not give the facts, just the opposite of what most biology courses – don’t give us the facts, tell us why, you know what it means. And that book, we all take it for granted now because it’s the way we talk about biology. Sum of weak interactions gives specificity. All these things that none of us had thought about before. So that was a terrific, you know, that was a second great thing that I knew Jim had done.
Bruce Alberts, currently Editor-in-chief of Science, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the University of California and United States Science Envoy. He received A.B. (1960) in Biochemical Science from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ph.D. (1965) from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1966 he joined Department of Chemistry at the Princeton University and after 10 years he became professor and vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysic at the UCSF.
Alberts work is best known for his work on the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He is one of the authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a major textbook in the field. He served two-six years terms as a president of National Academy of Science (1993-2005). During his administration at NAS, he was involved in developing the landmark of National Science Education standards.
Among many honors and awards (16 honorary degrees), he is Co-chair of the InterAcademy Council and a trustee of Gordon and Betty Moore Fundation.
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