Mass General Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak Reflects on the Future of Science in the United States

Jack Szostak, PhD, a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2009. With the perspective of his 35-year career in the sciences, Szostak recently joined a small panel of fellow Nobel Laureates to discuss the future of scientific careers for an audience of young scientists, and shares some of those reflections with Proto.

Here are a few memorable quotes:

“Really good creative scientists still do risky stuff—that is why we are in science in the first place. But when only 10% of grant proposals are approved, it is hard to pursue things that are overly risky. That’s just an unintended consequence of a grant system that has become increasingly conservative.”

“It’s important to recognize that despite all the problems we have, this is still a great time to be doing science. There are unbelievable advances being made, and incredible new technologies that allow us to make discoveries that we couldn’t even dream about 20 years ago. So it may be harder in some respects, but it is still a fantastic time to be involved in research.”

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