In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.
- "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.
Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.
The big picture: Doudna acknowledges that the scientific community probably hurt itself. The effort to stay above the political fray may well have led to too little dialogue between those making discoveries and the leaders responsible for funding those efforts.
- Doudna said she is a little too busy to run for office, but she would like to see others take that path. "Any scientist who wants to go in that direction, I do think that is really, really important. They will get my vote."
Driving the news: Doudna and French colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier were earlier this month awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on CRISPR, a gene-editing technique that can be likened to a pair of molecular scissors that can change DNA.
- Doudna talked about the challenges she faced as a woman pursuing a career in a male-dominated field. She recalled a high school guidance counselor who asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.
The bottom line: While Dudna was part of the first all-female team to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry, she said her goal is for that to eventually be unremarkable.
- "I would hope for a future where ... it's no surprise that two women win a prize like this in chemistry."