Nobel Week in Stockholm

I’m just about to fly back from Stockholm where I was liveblogging at the Nobel Week Dialogue. This was a surreal experience where most of the revolutionary geneticists that I had learnt about in college were sitting within touching distance!

The theme for the day was The Genetic Revolution and its Impact on Society. It was fascinating to hear the dialogue between these prominent scientists, policy makers and Nobel Laureates.

Human Biology Panel

This happened a lot during the discussion about genomic medicine. For example, Bert Vogelstein who has worked extensively on the colon and is the most cited scientist in the world, asked the question: If you were given a billion dollars to make an impact on colon cancer given that 7% is hereditary and 93% is a mixture of environment and bad luck, how would you invest? Eric Lander said “that’s an easy one! I would turn to a world expert on colon cancer and say: ‘Bert, as a world expert on colon cancer what would you do?’” And it went on like this which was hilarious to watch!

Craig Mello

James Watson was in flying form and threw out many controversial statements. He said that if he was a young scientist, he would cure cancer in the next ten years rather than fifty as predicted. Surprisingly, he added that “cancer researchers are asleep”.

A team of us (below) wrote about almost every aspect of the day on the Nobel Week Dialogue Blog. Here are the posts I wrote over the past few days: [No longer online]

  • 04 Nov: What drives an interest in science and genetics
  • 08 Nov: Craig Mello – The role of RNA in evolution (pictured above with moi)
  • 09 Nov @ 10am: The secret of life
  • 09 Nov @ 11am: Nowotny  – Horizon 1620 and Beyond
  • 09 Nov @ 2pm: Do we understand gene-environment interactions?
  • 09 Nov @ 3pm: Future of human biology? Fundamental science
After a long day of liveblogging:  John (@j_timmer), Beatrice (@BLugger), Jim (@jacaryl), moi & Emil (@EmilNilsson)
After a long day of liveblogging: John Timmer (@j_timmer), Beatrice Lugger (@BLugger), Jim Caryl (@jacaryl), moi & Emil Nisson (@EmilNilsson)