Wednesday Mar 01, 2023

A Fireside Chat with Carolyn Bertozzi

When chemist and Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi was leaving grad school, she asked her professors for letters of recommendation to pursue a postdoc in immunology. They warned her that she was flushing her career down the toilet. Instead, this was one in a series of opportunities that Dr. Bertozzi recognized and pursued, in a career that has changed the way modern chemists work. For this Fireside Chat episode, Dr. Bertozzi told us how she has made a career out of seizing opportunities in the face of pushback, institutional sexism, and the doubts of colleagues. We touched on her experiences finishing grad school without an advisor, building confidence as a young scientist, moving between disciplines, and launching biotech startups. We also talked about the importance of encouragement from friends and colleagues, the inside game of academia, the challenge of keeping a scientifically open mind, and of course what it's like to win a Nobel Prize and invite your dad to Stockholm.

This episode includes musical excerpts from “Nitrogen", "Half Mystery" and "Inspired" by Kevin MacLeod, and "Robots and Aliens" by Joel Cummins.

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