Walter Gilbert in 2008
|Born||(1932-03-21) March 21, 1932
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Harvard University (BS, MS)
|Thesis||On generalised dispersion relations and meson-nucleon scattering (1958)|
|Doctoral advisor||Abdus Salam|
George M. Church
NAS Award in Molecular Biology (1968)
|Spouse||Celia Stone (m. 1953)|
By asking a novel question that you don’t know the answer to, you discover whether you can formulate a way of finding the answer, and you stretch your own mind, and very often you learn something new.
The human’s place in the universe will be set in the scheme of evolution, the product of our biological inheritance.
Early on, it’s good to develop the ability to write. Learning to write is a useful exercise, even if what you’re writing about is not that relevant.
We know specific genes are turned on in specific cells, but we don’t know to what extent this happens.
The interaction of the variation in our genes is what’s responsible for lots of our attributes and vigor.
Science doesn’t in the slightest depend on trust. It depends completely on the belief that you can demonstrate something for yourself.
Scientists tend to be skeptical, but the weakness of the community of science is that it tends to move into preformed establishment modes that say this is the only way of doing science, the only valid view.
It’s easier to change what you do than people think it is. If you don’t change, your field changes around you.
Biology will relate every human gene to the genes of other animals and bacteria, to this great chain of being.
We haven’t been able yet to determine in terms of genes what makes a human being a human and not another mammal.
We are embedded in a biological world and related to the organisms around us.
I have the same sense of the power and virtue of knowledge that some people get from a religious background.
In 15 years we’ll have all the sequence, a list of the genes everyone has in common and those that differ among people. We know only something like a tenth of 1 percent of the sequence at the moment.