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Dr. Watson, haha May 26, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

Yesterday, in conjunction with the Linnaeus’ tricentennial, many world famous scientists gave short talks at Uppsala. I had time to go to a few, including one by Dr. James Watson, one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. You’ve heard of Watson and Crick before right? This is one of the most famous pictures in biology, ever.

It was just hilarious to hear this guy talk. Among his more memorable quotes:

“Study something important. Most of you in this room will fail. It is better to fail at something important then to fail at something unimportant.”

“As a researcher, don’t be afraid to talk with your competition. If you kill your competitors then you will have no one to talk to at all.”

One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.”

Many in the audience burst out laughing after many of his self described “pearls of wisdom”. He is also like 79 years old (looks around 100) so I was afraid at many points during the talk that he would simply fall apart. What I didn’t like is he kept making fun of one of my personal heroes, two time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. I love Pauling. This guy practically revolutionized science single-handedly by discovering the nature of the chemical bond. As history would have it, had Linus had one more month or so he would have been the one responsible for finding DNA’s structure. He even showed Watson and Crick all the work he had done independently a few weeks after their famous publication. Sigh.

Last night my friend Jan and I had the privilege of cooking dinner for two Germans that are very special to me. Well, actually, Jan did all the cooking and I took half the credit. Stephi and Mela, I will take home so many special memories with you two. Nothing could possibly keep me from coming to visit in Germany next year, consider that a promise.

Yum! Das ist allis.



1. Mela - May 26, 2007

Hej Mike,
“darf ich dir eins servieren?” – no, just kidding 😉 . It was the perfect evening and you should come to Germany for Spätzle & Donauwelle und a Bier 🙂
Stor kram och vi ses,

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