LC: I wanted to ask, with one of the leaders of scientific publication innovation on the line, in my neck of the woods there’s a new journal popping up called the Yale Undergraduate Research Journal and I wanted to present it’s structure to you, and maybe you can provide some insight or some advice. Does that sound alright?
(photo from https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/news/berkeley-talks-nobel-laureate-randy-schekman-new-parkinsons-research, taken by Elena Zhukova)
LC: So I heard that a way you motivate people in your lab is a bulletin board in your lab with major landmark and major achievements on it that you’re shooting for. I was wondering if this board is still literally or figuratively in place and what your modern or current research goals are.
RS: Well I would say one of the dramatic changes has been in the career options for someone studying biomedical science, generally biology, life science. When I started in graduate school in 1970 there was only one career option really--as an academic that was my intention and all of my classmates expected to do the same. There were of course in other disciplines, in chemistry there were positions in industry, but that just wasn’t an option in cell and molecular biology.
(Image from https://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/nobellabs/37960/randy-schekman)
I’m also curious, what are the challenges of starting out a career in science and getting established within the community of science as an institution to the point where your grant proposals, they no longer say “We don’t think you can do this”?