+ copy+Line Copy 7

University of California San Francisco

Give to UCSF

Blackburn Talks about Value of Basic Science at Nobel Banquet

By Jeffrey Norris

UCSF Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, on Dec. 10 delivered a speech at the Nobel Banquet, where guests gathered in Stockholm City Hall to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2009 Nobel laureates.

Hours before the banquet, Blackburn received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm along with co-recipients Carol Greider, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Jack Szostak, PhD, of Harvard Medical School. Blackburn spoke on behalf of her prize-winning colleagues.

“All three of us believe in the value of basic science as the source of ever deeper understanding and appreciation of our amazing world, an appreciation which is an essential and beautiful aspect of our culture,” said Blackburn, The Morris Herzstein Endowed Chair in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

She added that “having the freedom to do novel experiments, as we did, sometimes with obscure creatures, is important. Our early experiments were long shots: but there are times when one should just try something out to see what will happen – even if it does sound a bit crazy! Because our findings have led to medical implications that reach into the realm of human diseases and aging.”

Read the full speech on Blackburn’s Facebook page.