Bruce Alberts, 2008-08-22
Scope and Contents
The Oral History Collection contains interviews conducted with 200 scientists within the fields of molecular biology, genetics, and the life sciences between 1990 and 2018. The interviewees provide first-hand accounts of their experiences in the fields of modern biology, such as neuroscience, cancer, genetics, plant genetics, genomics, biotechnology and others, from the 1940s through the 2000s. The collection contains audio and video recordings, as well as transcripts of interviews.
The interviews offer a glimpse into the life of prominent scientists. The interviews discuss scientists' early school days and beginning interests in science to what or who made them choose to go into science. They also include reminiscences about their research and major discoveries, experiences of women in science, the character and life of leading scientists like Barbara McClintock and James D. Watson, the history of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the nature of the double-helix discovery, the ethics of the Human Genome Project and biotechnology.
Many scientists interviewed for this project have either carried out their research or attended scientific meetings at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Their recollections document not only the history of molecular biology and genetics the but also the laboratory's role in this history. The collection comprises of Hi8 8mm tapes; mini-DV; DVCAM and VHS audio cassette tapes. Most of the interviews from this collection have been transcribed. Interviews which have been digitized can be found at the Oral History Collection page.
The collection is organized into two series: Talking Science Interviews and Presentations. Talking Science Interviews consist of individual scientists, while the Presentations series include clips of oral history interviews that were used for a specific meeting or event.
- Talking Science Interviews, 1990-2017
- Presentations, 2016-2019
- Creation: 2008-08-22
- Alberts, Bruce (Interviewee, Person)
- Swanson, Linda (Editor, Person)
- Pollock, Ludmila (Interviewer, Person)
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Library and Archives (Publisher, Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: https://library.cshl.edu/oralhistory/. Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives email@example.com with any questions regarding availability.
Biographical / Historical
Bruce Alberts is currently Professor Emeritus and Chancellor's Leadership Chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his A.B. (1960) in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ph.D. (1965) from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1966 he joined the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University and after 10 years he became professor and vice chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UCSF. He was an United States Science Envoy from 2009-2011 and was Editor-in-Chief of Science from 2009-2015.
Alberts' work is best known for his work on the protein complexes that allow chromosomes to be replicated. He is one of the authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a major textbook in the field. He served two-six years terms as a president of National Academy of Science (1993-2005). During his administration at NAS, he was involved in developing the landmark of National Science Education standards.
Among many honors and awards (16 honorary degrees), he was Co-chair of the InterAcademy Council from 2000-2009 and is currently on the advisory boards of many non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with Bruce Alberts) : DVD
2 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1002, CSHL1003
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English