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Podcast: Nobel laureates Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna on prizes, pandemics, and Jimmy Page

The recent chemistry-prize winners tell Stereo Chemistry about what comes after that momentous call from Stockholm

by Lisa M. Jarvis
February 16, 2021

Photos of Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna.
Credit: Caltech (Arnold)/Laura Morton Photography (Doudna)
Nobel Laureates Frances Arnold (left) and Jennifer Doudna (right)
Credit: C&EN

Where do you take your career after you’ve won all of science’s biggest prizes? In this episode of Stereo Chemistry, C&EN executive editor Lisa Jarvis sits down with Nobel laureates Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna to hear about whether their career goals changed after they got that early-morning phone call in October and how the pandemic has shifted the way they approach their work.

Subscribe to Stereo Chemistry now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The following is the script for the podcast. We have edited the interviews within for length and clarity.

Frances Arnold: So I’m pacing my hotel room and going round in circles. And there’s a press conference—you’re not allowed to tell anyone, including family, for the first 20 min. I’m there at four o’clock in the morning pacing a hotel room deciding, you’ve got 20 min: coffee, shower, coffee, shower—what should I do first? What did you do first?

Jennifer Doudna: Actually, I took the shower first.

Frances Arnold: I took the shower first, too, because I knew it was going to be a really long day.

Jennifer Doudna: [laughing] Long day, right.

Kerri Jansen: This is the kind of conversation that can only occur among a very select group of scientists. Because only a very few have had the experience of waking to a phone call delivering the news that they’ve been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry—a call that, for scientists in North America, comes painfully early in the morning, before even your morning coffee. Or your shower.

So this is the kind of conversation that occurs when you get two Nobel laureates together to swap stories about big prizes, how they change your life, and where to take your science after you win them. In this episode of Stereo Chemistry, we’re hearing from two biotech pioneers whose names you’ll probably recognize.

Frances Arnold: Hi, I’m Frances Arnold.

Jennifer Doudna: I’m Jennifer Doudna.

Kerri: And I’m your host, Kerri Jansen.

C&EN executive editor Lisa Jarvis recently sat down for an interview with these two amazing scientists, and Lisa will be joining us for this episode to take us through that conversation. Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Jarvis: Thanks, Kerri.

Kerri: So which would you pick, Lisa—shower or coffee?

Lisa: Ooh, that’s a tough one. I probably would take the coffee, because my brain would really need it in order to handle the rest of that day. How about you?

Kerri: I’m not sure. But I do know I’m probably not on anyone’s short list for a Nobel, so it’s not likely to come up.

Lisa: Right. Fair enough.

Kerri: So let’s talk a little bit about these two laureates: Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna. Frances is a chemical engineer at Caltech and Jennifer is a biochemist at UC Berkeley, but what they have in common is both have made quite an impact by tinkering with DNA.

Lisa: That’s right. So, for Frances, that tinkering is through a technique called directed evolution, which is used in protein engineering. Directed evolution is a way of speeding up and selecting for changes in the recipes for building enzymes so they have new properties, ones that can make, for example, biofuels or perform chemistries normally confined to a flask. Frances, along with two other scientists, who did related work, won the chemistry Nobel for the discovery of directed evolution in 2018. Jennifer, meanwhile, was one of two scientists to be awarded last year’s prize, which went to a gene-editing system called CRISPR-Cas9. Although CRISPR was only discovered about a decade ago, it has become ubiquitous in the lab, and billions of dollars have been poured into trying to apply it to all sorts of real-world problems, whether that’s developing cures for genetic diseases or improving crops.

And of course they have a few other things in common. Both have a long list of accolades behind their names. Combined, they’ve won basically every big prize in their respective fields of science—of course culminating with the Nobels. In fact, they account for two out of the seven women who have been awarded the chemistry prize. They’re also both on the boards of big companies—Frances at Alphabet, Jennifer at Johnson & Johnson—and both are serial entrepreneurs. Frances has started three companies, and Jennifer has cofounded five. Given the similarities in their research, they run in some of the same circles. In fact, it was Jennifer who suggested this joint interview with Frances.

Lisa (in interview): I wanted to launch into how you both met, because I get the sense that the two of you are big fans of one another. I realize I’m inferring that just from what I see on social media and brief interactions I’ve had with each of you.

Frances Arnold: I don’t remember when we first met, but we were both Packard Fellows way back in the 1990s and probably met there. And we’ve worked together for years serving on the advisory panel for selecting the new Packard Fellows in Science and Engineering. Also, we knew each other through UC Berkeley. And of course, I knew of her work even before CRISPR.

Jennifer Doudna: Right, well, I was trying to remember when we first met, Frances, but I’m pretty sure it was at a [David and Lucile] Packard Foundation meeting in Monterey, California. I was in those days working on RNA structural biology, but I was so inspired by the work you were doing as an engineer thinking about modifying proteins and selecting for interesting activities. So I remember many, many conversations at those meetings. They somewhat blend together now, but, boy, that was really inspiring.

Lisa (in studio): So of course, when two Nobel Prize winners are up for a chat, you ask them for “the story.” We already know that they both prioritized a shower after they got the news, but where were they and what were they doing when the call came in from Sweden? Well, Frances says she was fast asleep in a hotel room in Dallas, Texas.

Frances Arnold: I was supposed to give a seminar the next day at UT Southwestern. And of course, the phone rings. It’s about one—no, it’s four o’clock in the morning, Dallas time. And I always have my phone because I had adult children living at home. And always some disaster is happening in my family. So I answered the phone. And it’s the Nobel committee. And they said, “Would you please hold on to speak to the chairman of the Nobel Foundation?” I said to myself, “Hell, yeah.” And then what happened is I tried to call home, and no one answered the phone! It’s two o’clock in the morning. And when they need me, I always answer the phone. But when I need them, they don’t answer. So I had to wait 3 h before my oldest son finally answered the phone, and he goes, “Mom, what do you want?” And I said, “James, I won the Nobel Prize!” And he said . . . well, I can’t repeat it here. But he said, “Holy expletive!” And he had to drive over to my house where my younger son was sleeping and wake him up. It was pretty fun.

Jennifer Doudna: Well, mine is maybe slightly more embarrassing because I actually missed that critical call, and I didn’t wake up until my phone was buzzing at about right before 3 a.m. California time. And it was a reporter wanting to know my opinion about you know, how did I feel about the Nobel.

Lisa: That reporter was Heidi Ledford from Nature.

Jennifer Doudna: And I was literally waking up out of a deep sleep, and I said, “Oh my gosh, I just woke up. I haven’t had a chance to look. Who won the prize?” And she said, “Oh no, you don’t know!”

Frances Arnold: How did you miss that call, Jennifer?

Jennifer Doudna: Isn’t that crazy? I don’t know. I just . . . I literally slept through it.

Lisa (in interview): Does the committee call you back? What happens then?

Jennifer Doudna: Well, actually while I was on the phone with the reporter, there was a second call coming in, and it was from Martin Jinek, who was the person who did the CRISPR-Cas9 research in my lab and is now a professor in Switzerland. So I saw I had a call from him. So I . . . you know, honestly Frances, I don’t know about you, my first reaction was this is . . . I don’t believe this. It just didn’t seem real. It was just one of those, you know, am I still asleep or am I dreaming or what’s going on? But honestly, Martin Jinek is about the most down-to-earth, pragmatic person on the planet. And when I saw that he was calling, and I answered his call, and he said, “Oh my gosh, congratulations!” I said, OK, I know it’s real.

Kerri: That’s wild that Jennifer didn’t think it was real.

Lisa (in studio): Right? CRISPR had been on basically every Nobel prediction list for

several years—if anything, I think people were surprised it hadn’t won sooner. Of course, the Nobel committee was far from the first to recognize the value of Frances’s and Jennifer’s work.

Lisa (in interview): Both of you have won plenty of other awards, some that come with more money than the Nobel, some that put you in similarly rarefied air, or company. There’s a long list of prizes that, you know, are behind each of your names. Does the Nobel feel different?

Frances Arnold: Oh, Jennifer, you get to go first.

Jennifer Doudna: Well, it does, I have to say—mostly because I think that it’s a prize that is so widely recognized beyond the scientific community. I’ve noticed that I’ve heard from so many people outside of my scientific community after the Nobel, who, you know, hadn’t reached out before. I’m thinking about, like, people I went to second grade with, people who are doing all sorts of things now and living all over the world, but whose attention was drawn to the chemistry and the science that we were involved with, because of the Nobel. And I think that that’s been really interesting. That was a surprise. I didn’t expect that.

Frances Arnold: Right. When you’ve won everything, you don’t realize the order-of-magnitude difference when you win the Nobel Prize. You’re right. I’ve heard from people that I’d even forgotten I knew. But also, it’s a wonderful outpouring, isn’t it? Of happiness for you, and curiosity. And the reach of this prize is really, as I say, an order of magnitude beyond anything that I’ve ever experienced before.

Lisa: So I’m going to ask you a question about it and hope that you’ll each be honest with me. Because I’ve asked many high-profile scientists over the years who appear on those short lists for Nobel predictions, you know, if it’s something they hope for, if it’s a goal for them. And they always say, you know, ‘I don’t think about it. You can’t make the Nobels a goal because it’s just so rare, almost, to even get it.’ But maybe now that you have it, you can give me your honest answer. Was it something that you hoped for?

Frances Arnold: Well, you know, I’m an engineer, and I had already won the biggest engineering prize, the Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, and I was thrilled with that. And I certainly didn’t expect a Nobel Prize. So, honestly, it was a surprise. I’d heard rumors, but so have about 500 other people. Now, Jennifer’s prize was absolutely no surprise at all to me. And I want to hear what she says about her own self—but the whole world was waiting for Jennifer’s. I think the world was honestly surprised by mine, along with me.


Jennifer Doudna: Well, you know, CRISPR is . . . it’s sort of taken on a bit of a life of its own. And I guess in that respect, you know, there was sort of, broadly, an anticipation that there might be recognition at some point by the Nobel committee. However, I have to say that I just, I really tried to not think about it, not focus on it. It wasn’t why I went into science. I tried not to pay a lot of attention to it beforehand.

Frances Arnold: I think that’s important. Because at any one time, there’s probably 100 people that are equally deserving—maybe not as deserving as Jennifer—but there will be 100 people who really could win a Nobel Prize. And to think that you’re the one that’s going to be selected, or one of the three that’s going to be selected, is kind of crazy making, right? And I do know of some people who’ve been in that boat, and it’s not a nice place to be. So it’s really nice if you can just set it aside and live your life and then enjoy it when you have it rather than be unhappy that you don’t.

Lisa (in studio): When Frances received her prize back in 2018, she told C&EN’s Beth Halford that she planned to use her prize money to have the party of her life. And she did just that. But it didn’t come without stress.

Frances Arnold: I had to figure out how to get 60 friends and family to Stockholm, plan a banquet or dinner reception, get people to the concert, lectures, dinners, and have appropriate clothes for all the events in just the few weeks between the October announcement and all these events in early December. Oh my goodness, talk about a three-ring circus! But I have very capable friends who each stepped in to help me with each one of these things. So it went off very well.

Lisa: Jennifer’s experience was the polar opposite of Frances’s. She won amid a global pandemic. Travel to Stockholm? Ill advised at best, and downright dangerous at worst. A packed ceremony was definitely not happening.

Jennifer Doudna: Well, so yeah, I received the Nobel medal in a very small ceremony. It was on my back patio. I think we had a total of 10 people there. It was actually given to me by the Swedish consulate in San Francisco—wonderful woman, Barbro Osher, who did that, actually gave me the medal—and her colleagues. And then we had a couple of communications people, a videographer, my immediate family, and that’s it. So it was very, very intimate, very private. I have to say, it was very meaningful to me. It was very special. And it felt . . . I had a sense of gravitas, even though, you know, there we were standing on the patio. But it was, you know, it’s one of those unforgettable moments in your life, really. And sort of, maybe, in a weird way, even more so because of the unusual circumstances of it.

Lisa: UC Berkeley published a video of that ceremony. Jennifer stands next to a small table that holds the medal, and family members, all masked, are scattered about the patio. Here’s the moment when Barbro presented the award.

Barbro Osher: And since you cannot go to Stockholm now, your Nobel Prize, and medal and diploma, has been brought to you here instead. So with regards from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation, it is a great honor to convey to you my warmest congratulations and ask you to receive the Nobel Prize.

Lisa: But those unusual circumstances didn’t dampen the mood.


Lisa: Obviously the pandemic affected much more than Nobel ceremonies. We shifted to talk a bit about how these two scientists’ lives have changed in the past year. Frances answered first.

Frances Arnold: I can say that this year, of course, has been sad. I lost my mother and my brother this year, my brother most recently. On the other hand, my first grandson was born in August. And his parents are both working hard—one works at JPL [the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory]; he launched the Mars rover from Florida while his wife, who’s in the Coast Guard, was all alone for 6 months here. And I gained a grandson, and I’m the primary caregiver of this grandson, because I’m at home. I’m doing a lot of Zoom meetings, but I can hire a babysitter to help me. And I get to spend my time absolutely adoring the most beautiful grandbaby that can be that you can imagine. And when I think about that, that never would have been possible in my former life, where I was in hotels all the time. So there are real silver linings. I know you poor parents out there who are dealing with elementary school kids and kids in high school, it’s hell, but for those with babies, it’s actually been quite remarkable.

Jennifer Doudna: Can I ask a question? I’m curious, Frances, will you go back to traveling, as you did before? Once that’s possible again?

Frances Arnold: I can’t imagine that any of us will go back to being on the road all the time. I don’t want to. I don’t want to be in a crowded airplane with sniffling passengers next to me. I want to spend more time at home. Of course, I will travel some, and I’m sure you will too. But it’s kind of nice to be in one time zone.

Jennifer Doudna: Yeah.

Frances Arnold: I think my brain works a little better.

Jennifer Doudna: Well, I think we’ve all seen the power of Zoom, you know. And you can do a lot virtually; it’s quite amazing. Not everything, but a lot.

Frances Arnold: I think Zoom deserves a National Medal of Technology, frankly.

Jennifer Doudna: I do too!

Kerri: We should pause here to note that this conversation was happening via Zoom.

Lisa: Yes! And also worth noting that if not for a global pandemic and the lack of travel that Frances mentioned, this Zoom meeting might not have occurred at all. Reporters out there can attest that it can be really tough to get an hour with someone like Frances or Jennifer, let alone finding a window that’s free for both of them.

Kerri: We’ll take that silver lining.

Lisa: Yes! But I did wonder how the last year has affected each of their schedules and, in general, the shape of their science. Before the pandemic hit, both Frances and Jennifer separately had told me that they were looking for ways to, if not step off the roller coaster, at least slow it down a bit. But I know that Jennifer, for one, quickly organized a COVID testing lab, which was an enormous undertaking. So I asked them whether the relentless pace of their careers had slowed.

Jennifer Doudna: Well, actually, I found I got busier. I wasn’t traveling, but on the flip side, you know, when you’re working virtually, you can sort of find yourself never not working, right? And so that actually made the first few months of the pandemic pretty tough. I found that, sort of 7 days a week, you know, there were texts and emails and Slack and all of that coming in at almost all hours, especially because we were setting up a clinical testing lab, and all of the things that went along with that. But, you know, now, things have kind of transitioned in, I think, a pretty good way. We have now a professional staff running that clinical lab, and we were able to raise money to support it. And so that’s kind of taken on its own life. We hired an executive director of the institute that I founded, so he’s been fabulous. We’ve never met in person, actually, but he’s been an amazing leader of the institute. So that’s been great for me.

Lisa: Jennifer went on to talk about another challenge: after the pandemic upended all our routines, she found it harder to find time for the kind of deep thinking that leads to ideas like, well, CRISPR.

Jennifer Doudna: The thing about travel for me, back when we were doing that, was that I did find that often when I was on a trip, I’d have time in hotel rooms at night. And, you know, things like that, in different time zones, you’d find yourself lying awake or something. And so I actually would do a lot of thinking and reading when I was traveling. And you’re sort of out of your normal routine; you’re not having to, you know, cook meals and clean up the mess in the kitchen, [that] kind of thing. And so I did find that I had time when I was traveling to do that kind of thinking and reading. So I found that with the pandemic I actually had to really consciously change my schedule to carve out time that was set aside for that. And I’m still struggling with that, honestly. And, Frances, if you have any advice for me, I’d love to hear it, because it’s still a challenge.


Frances Arnold: I can’t help you there; I never have a chance to think. I think the Three Stooges said, “Tried to think and nothing happened.” But luckily, I have smart students.

Lisa: It’s probably no surprise that these accomplished scientists—even amid a global pandemic—still managed to find the brain space to come up with big ideas. In fact, as both consider the chapters in their career that come after winning all the top prizes, they are contemplating how they can continue to make an impact on the world.

Kerri: Coming up after the break: The laureates tell us what’s coming next for them and their teams. We’ll also hear about favorite elements, TV and book recommendations, the celebrity encounter they have in common, and . . . Star Trek. You’re going to want to stick around.

Marsha Watson: Hi, folks! Marsha Watson here. I’m an assistant editor at C&EN.

I’m excited to share with you that C&EN’s 2021 Trailblazers issue is almost here! The Trailblazers program celebrates the diversity that drives chemistry forward. This year, the program focuses on Black excellence in chemistry and chemical engineering.

The issue is guest edited by MIT chemical engineering professor Paula Hammond and will feature profiles of 21 trailblazing Black chemists who have made important advancements in polymer chemistry, electronics, medicine, and many other areas. Paula will also share her insight on her career path and why it is important for the field of chemistry, and for media outlets such as C&EN, to celebrate Black chemists at all stages of their careers.

Look for that issue on February 22nd. It’ll be available both on C&EN’s website and in print. And to get a link sent straight to your inbox, sign up for C&EN’s newsletter using the URL That’s And while you’re waiting for this year’s issue, you can catch up on last year’s package of trailblazing women chemists, which was edited by Jennifer Doudna. You can find those stories at

And now, back to the show.

Kerri: So Frances and Jennifer have both attained what is essentially the pinnacle of science prizes. What happens next? Where do you take your science, and your career?

Lisa: Right, we talked about that—about how this last year has really been a time for considering what they want to come next, and where they want to make a difference.

Kerri: And, to be clear, all this big thinking was happening amid a global pandemic. I know I wasn’t exactly at the top of my game this year. How about you, Lisa?

Lisa: I’d say my biggest thinking centered on what series to binge-watch next. And you know, we did briefly touch on that with Frances and Jennifer, so stay tuned. But it likely surprises no one that they both also had much more going on than cultivating their Netflix queue. So here’s Jennifer telling us about that.

Jennifer Doudna: Right now, I would say that I’m really just thinking about very big-picture projects that I want the institute and to some extent my own lab to be focusing on going forward. And one of those is addressing climate change and really thinking about how we tackle that. I see that as a real existential threat. I think that, you know, we don’t have much time to get going on it. And I think, in an interesting way, the CRISPR technology can do some really interesting things in that space—in particular, with regard to soil and water, microbes, and thinking about how we enhance carbon capture and address some of the challenges in agriculture that are coming at us quickly with climate change. So those are the kinds of things that I’m focused on at the moment.

Frances Arnold: Well, my lab is small scale compared to Jennifer’s, so she probably has very different . . . I mean, she’s talking about climate change. Boy, if I had good ideas on how to mitigate or adapt to climate change, I’d be working on them too. I tend to do pretty much the same thing. I just love engineering enzymes, and I run a relatively small lab to engineer enzymes. But I do a lot of other things on the side. So I took on many more responsibilities on the side this year that are using up my, my thinking time.

Lisa: Let us pause here and note that Frances is being modest about those side responsibilities. A few days after our conversation, President Joe Biden named her as cochair of the presidential committee of advisors on science and technology [President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)], a group he has charged with offering guidance on key policy issues like climate change and pandemic preparedness. Frances gave a heartfelt speech on the day after the announcement was made.

Frances Arnold (news recording): As an engineer by training, there’s a certain temptation to see the work ahead of us as a series of difficult problems to be solved. But the truth is, that’s not what drew me to this role. Like the rest of this extraordinary team, I am here today because of love. A love of science, yes, but also of a deeper love. Of our planet, and of our people, without whom science has no purpose or meaning.

Lisa: Although Frances wasn’t yet able to discuss the PCAST appointment on the day of our interview, she did give us a sense of why helping shape science policy is the right direction at this point in her career.

Frances Arnold (in interview): At this level, I know for myself, I could do, you know, a few more nice projects; we continue to make very cool enzymes. My students could go on and do that better than I could now. But more importantly, our experience now that we’ve accumulated over the years of science in general, and the impact of science on society, can be directed in positive ways, be it at the national, international levels. So I intend to spend more time on national implementation of science policy. I hope that we will see science taking its important place in determining a future that’s for everyone.

Lisa: A few big things going on for Frances and Jennifer. But we did promise that we’d also talk about binge watching and Star Trek.

Kerri: We did, didn’t we?

Lisa: At the end of our chat, we threw in a few rapid-fire questions, starting with the classic question for chemists: What’s your favorite element?

Frances Arnold: Silicon. It’s a completely new world for me after we made enzymes that do silicon chemistry inside of living cells. We got a lot more interest in the area from Dow Chemical, for example, who has a huge organosilicon industry and never even thought that biology could do this chemistry, which forced us to actually learn something about silicon chemistry. And I think that’s been a really interesting foray. It’s hard, but it’s really interesting to see what biology can do there.

Jennifer Doudna: It’s making me think of old Star Trek episodes, Frances.

Frances Arnold: In fact, the Horta episode looking for life in rock. We’re actually trying to put the silicon into life, but you know, details.

Jennifer Doudna: Yeah, yeah.

Lisa (in interview): What about you, Jennifer?

Jennifer Doudna: I’d have to say magnesium. You know, magnesium is a divalent ion that is essential for the folding of RNA, and it’s been sort of woven into every project I’ve ever worked on in my career going way back before CRISPR. So, you know, that’s probably been the element that’s been the most common theme in my work beyond the, you know, fundamentals of organic molecules.

Frances Arnold: Well, I have to jump in because I have a second favorite that’s really, probably neck and neck with silicon, and that’s iron. So you can have magnesium. For me, that’s boring. [laughter] But iron, oh my goodness, all the chemistry you can do with iron. Nature figured out how to use all these elements and especially iron to do a whole wide range of chemistry that we can recapitulate and add to. So iron can do anything.

Lisa: We’re in the middle of a pandemic. A lot of us are doing binge watching or reading or listening to podcasts. I know you’re both very busy. Is there anything that has helped get you through the last year? TV, book, podcast?


Frances Arnold: So I lived in Italy for a couple of years when I was 18 and 19 years old, and I loved Italian culture and language. So when My Brilliant Friend came out, the TV version, I just ate that up, and I have been rewatching it one episode each week with an old friend. And we make dinner and we watch an episode in Italian of My Brilliant Friend. So that has been my sinful pleasure.

Jennifer Doudna: I don’t know if I’d call it a guilty pleasure. I resurrected my Kindle, which had been sort of, you know, languishing. And I sort of have been really enjoying just going back and reading books that had been kind of on my list for a long time that I hadn’t gotten around to reading. And the book I’m reading right now—it’s not recent, but it’s really worth reading—is the biography of Albert Einstein, by Walter Isaacson.

Lisa: Both of you have been to a number of events where you’ve met many celebrities or had opportunities to meet celebrities. Is there one that was your favorite or you were most excited about?

Jennifer Doudna: Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin.

Frances Arnold: All right, I met Jimmy Page. And he’s pretty cool. And I had dinner at the Met [Metropolitan Museum of Art] with him. Ben Carson was on my right and Jimmy Page. And then Justice Anthony Kennedy. So he’s stuck between Jimmy Page and, gosh, Aerosmith, um . . .

Lisa: Tyler?

Jennifer Doudna: Steven Tyler?

Frances Arnold: Yeah, exactly, Steven Tyler. So Justice Kennedy is between Steven Tyler and Jimmy Page. And I’m stuck between Ben Carson. It was a great dinner. It was wonderful. But I actually got to go to Sidney Poitier’s 80th birthday party, and that was really spectacular.

Jennifer Doudna: Amazing. Yeah, I bet.

Lisa (in studio): Just another day in the life of a chemistry Nobel laureate. A good place to wrap our chat with Frances Arnold and Jennifer Doudna. If you want to find out more about their amazing science, I’d suggest checking out the profile I wrote about Jennifer last year. I got to spend a day shadowing her to understand how she balances managing a sizable lab, founding companies, and all the other obligations that come along with being a gene-editing pioneer. And Jennifer was the guest editor on a special issue of C&EN in 2020 called Trailblazers. In it, we highlighted badass women of science—one of which is Frances. And of course, check out our Nobels coverage of both of these researchers.

Kerri: This episode was written by Lisa Jarvis and produced by me, Kerri Jansen. Story editing by Amanda Yarnell. The audio of Frances’s speech is from C-Span. And the video of Jennifer’s Nobel ceremony is from UC Berkeley. The music in this episode was “Curiosity” by Kevin Graham and “Plain Loafer” by Kevin MacLeod.

Stereo Chemistry is the official podcast of Chemical & Engineering News, which is published by the American Chemical Society. Thanks for listening.


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