Career Webinars

Persevering in science:

Advice from Nobel Laureates

This event occurred on Monday, June 29, 2015


Succeeding in a career in science begins with talent and hard work, but can be greatly facilitated with wise guidance for how to avoid some of the career limiting (or ending!) pitfalls and how to take advantage of some of the career accelerating strategies that are not necessarily part of the typical graduate curriculum. A panel of Nobel Laureates gathered at the 65th Lindau Meeting, moderated by the editor-in-chief of the journal Science, will be on hand to share their wisdom on how to get ahead and answer your questions during this live Q&A on how to succeed in science.

Speaker Bios

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.

University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Dr. Blackburn was born in November 1948 in Hobart, Tasmania. She completed her B.Sc. (1970) and M.Sc. (1972) in biology at the University of Melbourne and earned her Ph.D. (1975) from the University of Cambridge in England. Dr. Blackburn did postdoctoral work at Yale in the United States before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978. In 1990, she joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served as department chair from 1993 to 1999 and is now the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. She is also a non-resident fellow of the Salk Institute. Dr. Blackburn has been widely honored as (among others) president of the American Society for Cell Biology 1998 and of the American Association for Cancer Research in 2010. She has been elected a foreign fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2007, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and in 2010 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. 

Daniel Shechtman, Ph.D.

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Haifa, Israel

Dr. Shechtman studied at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, gaining a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering in 1966, and his M.Sc. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) in materials engineering. After working in an aerospace research laboratory in the United States as a metallurgist, he returned to the Technion as a member of staff in the materials science department. From 1981–83 he was on sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. It was there, studying rapidly solidified aluminium alloys, that he made the discovery for which he won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. From 1992 to 1994, he studied the effects of chemical vapor deposition on diamonds at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and professor of materials science at Iowa State University as well as a distinguished professor at Technion. He has also served on several Technion Senate Committees, heading one of them.

Jack W. Szostak, Ph.D.

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Dr. Szostak was born in London, England, in 1952 and grew up in Canada, where he attended Riverdale High School in Quebec. He graduated at 15 with a scholarship to University in Montreal, obtaining a B.S. in cell biology at the age of 19. He then moved to New York where he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca in 1977. Two years later, he started his own laboratory in Boston at the Sydney Farber Cancer Institute before moving to the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1984. Academically he is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, where he was made full professor in 1988. Since 1998, he has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Today, his lab focuses on the origins of life on Earth and the construction of artificial cellular life.

Moderator: Marcia McNutt, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. McNutt is a geophysicist who became the 19th editor-in-chief of Science in June 2013. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. McNutt was the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, which responded to a number of major disasters during her tenure, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For her work to help contain that spill, McNutt was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal. She is a fellow of AGU, the Geological Society of America, AAAS, and the International Association of Geodesy. Her honors and awards include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as honorary doctoral degrees from Colorado College, the University of Minnesota, Monmouth University, and the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. McNutt was awarded the Macelwane Medal by AGU in 1988 for research accomplishments by a young scientist and the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2007 for her significant contributions to deep-sea exploration.