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Career Q&As


A collection of interviews with interesting scientists, focusing on their careers.

Tiziana Rossetto, an epicenter of tsunami research
by Elisabeth Pain
07 Jaunary 2015
Earthquake engineer Tiziana Rossetto wasn’t daunted when she was told that what she intended to do wasn’t possible.

The National Academies revisit the postdoc experience
by Jim Austin
11 December 2014
Implementing the recommendations of the new National Academies report on postdocs is likely to be hard, says Gregory Petsko, the chair of the committee that issued the report.

Robert Langer: Creating things that could change the world
by Trisha Gura
18 November 2014
A leading scientist-entrepreneur offers advice on careers and starting a business.

Reflections of a woman pioneer
by Vijaysree Venkatraman
11 November 2014
During her long career, physicist Mildred Dresselhaus has won many awards, including the National Medal of Science. We sat down with her for a chat.

Playing a new tune
by Jim Austin
20 August 2014
Igor Lovchinsky, who has already had a notable career as a professional pianist, is now directing his energy toward physics.

A Young Tag Team Detects a Major Pipeline Leak
by Jim Austin
08 July 2014
A graduate student and a Twitter software engineer team up to write an article showing that on average, elite labs run by men are not women-friendly.

Life After a Ph.D.
by Elisabeth Pain
01 July 2014
At ESOF 2014, two career sessions organized by an emerging initiative explored the career-support needs of Ph.D.-holders.

Brewing Up a Career
By Trisha Gura
23 June 2014
Protein engineer Jasper Akerboom left his job at Janelia Farm to pursue a career as a brewmeister.

Studying Human-Computer Interaction at Microsoft Research
by John Bohannon
16 June 2014
Mary Czerwinski, a cognitive psychologist, has spent her career doing both basic and applied research in the technology industry.

Tim Hunt
by Elisabeth Pain
12 June 2014
Hard work, early independence, and playfulness were instrumental in Nobel laureate Tim Hunt’s success.

Career Moneyball
by John Bohannon
02 June 2014
An article released today allows you to calculate your odds of becoming a principal investigator. We spoke to the authors.

Amy Robinson, Creative Director
by John Bohannon
05 May 2014
As creative director in an MIT lab and a Nature-paper co-author without a degree, Amy Robinson embodies the changes occurring in science right now.

Paul Brookes: Surviving as an Outed Whistleblower
by Elisabeth Pain
10 March 2014
The controversial former blog author discusses the experience and career impact of having his cover blown.

A Computational Security Blanket
by Jim Austin
07 February 2014
Computer security and privacy researcher Lorrie Faith Cranor won an Honorable Mention in the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Promoting Gender Equality at the European Research Council
by Tania Rabesandratana
18 December 2013
Isabelle Vernos, chairwoman of the European Research Council Scientific Council's Working Group on Gender Balance, talks about the funding agency's efforts to help female scientists reach the top.

Varvara Trachana: Surviving the Science Crisis in Greece
by Elisabeth Pain
12 November 2013
Like some 750 other Greek scientists, Varvara Trachana has a faculty position—but no salary and no money to start up her lab.

Luca Cardelli: Bridging Industry and Academia
by Elisabeth Pain
07 November 2013
A Microsoft Research scientist explains how his career came to bridge computer science and biology and, now, industry and academia.

Karolinska Institutet Marches at the Pride Parade
by Elisabeth Pain
05 August 2013
In August 2013, Karolinska Institutet students marched in the annual Stockholm Pride Parade—with the institute's blessing.

Stephanie McGuire
by Michael Price
24 June 2013
Classical music and science have a lot in common, says the opera singer with a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics. She wants to help people from all backgrounds appreciate both.

Defining the Global State of Young Scientists
by Elisabeth Pain
12 June 2013
The Global Young Academy wants to offer a snapshot of the working conditions of young scientists across developed and developing countries.

Lotfi A. Zadeh
by Elisabeth Pain
31 May 2013
A professor emeritus advises young scientists to deemphasize controversial aspects of their work—or to avoid controversy until they are established.

Michael Yaffe
by Trisha Gura
10 May 2013
The systems biologist and trauma surgeon talks about treating patients after the Boston Marathon bombings and about his career.

Indre Viskontas
by Michael Price
06 May 2013
This cognitive scientist/opera singer learned to love science and music separately before figuring out how to bring them together.

Hal Salzman
by Michael Price
29 April 2013
Why do industry leaders and policymakers continue to argue that there is a domestic shortage of STEM talent despite numerous reports to the contrary?

Thomas Schäfer: Launching the Young Academy of Europe
by Elisabeth Pain
24 April 2013
A group of ERC Starting Grantees has created a new platform where top young researchers can raise their voices and influence science policy.

"We Are the World"
by Jim Austin
27 March 2013
Computer science veteran Ed Lazowska argues that his field is poised to dominate careers in the sciences.

Q&A: From Philosophy to The Big Bang
by Elisabeth Pain
13 March 2013
Science Careers talks to Eric Kaplan, co-executive producer of the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, about his work on the show.

Spotlight on Diversity
by Michael Price
31 August 2012
Filmmaker and physicist Aziza Baccouche, who is blind, showcases the challenges and successes of diverse scientists in a new documentary series.

A Career on the Fence
by Elisabeth Pain
27 July 2012
A graduate school dean and former Olympic athlete reflects on science, fencing, and how the two activities have benefited each other.

Career Q&A: Laurel Haak
by Jim Austin
13 July 2012
The newly appointed executive director of ORCID discusses her career and her latest challenge.

Career Q&A: Lia Merminga
by Marissa Fessenden
01 June 2012
As head of the accelerator division at TRIUMF, Lia Merminga is a rare woman in the upper echelons of physics.

Career Q&A: A Successful Career Without Credentials
by Elisabeth Pain
11 May 2012
Paleontologist Jack Horner overcame dyslexia and the lack of a traditional education to become a world leader in his field.

Career Q&A: From Science to Fiction
by Elisabeth Pain
20 April 2012
Spanish pharmacologist Amàlia Lafuente has written a novel about the personal and professional conflicts faced by early-career researchers.

Career Q&A: Myron Cohen
by Beth Mole
23 March 2012
The infectious disease expert and recipient of Science's 2011 Breakthrough of the Year award reflects on his career and some keys to success.

Q&A: Outsourcing Himself
by Elisabeth Pain
24 February 2012
Chemist Andrew McElroy got the idea for his company the day he was told he would likely lose his job at Pfizer.

Taking Mathematics to Heart
by Kate Travis
29 April 2011
Mathematician John Wesley Cain works with clinicians, physicists, and engineers in a field called cardiac electrophysiology.

Q&A: Philip Phillips: A Roundabout Approach to Superconductivity
by Elisabeth Pain
08 April 2011
His unconventional training allowed theoretical condensed matter physicist Philip Phillips to tackle superconductivity using a novel and indirect approach.

Q&A: Finding and Exploiting Cancer's Weaknesses
by Kate Travis
25 March 2011
Clinician-investigator David Solit studies the genetic basis of cancer tumors and looks for novel therapies that target specific mutations.

Career Q&A: Reentering Academia - A Success Story
by Elisabeth Pain
11 March 2011
University of Oxford chemist Carol Robinson returned to academia after an 8-year break and went on to win the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award.

Melanie Sanford: The Interview
by Jim Austin
24 November 2006
A series of fortunate events led this University of Michigan chemist to contribute to work that won a Nobel Prize. But there's nothing accidental about her subsequent success.

Rush Holt: The Interview
by Sarah Webb
28 July 2006
Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), a physicist and one of a few scientists in the U.S. Congress, has served in the House of Representatives since 1999.

Q&A With Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation
by Rita Colwell
03 September 1999

Proteomics: Q&A With Rowan Chapman
by Nicole Ruediger
04 June 1999
We interviewed Rowan Chapman of Incyte Pharmaceuticals to find out about her field and her career.

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