Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fun with Wikipedia

Many of you may have heard that Tom Steitz, a professor at my alma mater, was awarded 1/3 of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for his work on solving the structure of the ribosome.

Although I did my PhD work on a small part of how the ribosome is made (it's very complicated), I never really met Tom Steitz (though I did sit in the same room with him more than once). I did, however, often interact with his wife, Joan Steitz: I took her class, then TA'd it for two semesters, and she was an important member of my thesis committee. She is an excellent mentor and a outstanding scientist. I'm still waiting for the announcement of her Nobel.

Often when I'm going through photos of outstanding scientists, it looks like photos of US presidents: old white men. Occasionally, there's a non-whitey. Admittedly, there are more women scientists than women presidents, but they're few and far between. I am lucky to have had an abundance female mentors in my lifetime.

So the whole point of this is that I happened upon Joan's Wikipedia entry, and was amused to find how much longer it is than Tom's.

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