Nobel Prize Conversations
Calling Barry Sharpless: 2022 chemistry laureate
“You should be drawn to uncertainty” — Barry Sharpless quotes Einstein when asked about his daring approach to choosing problems: “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there’s no hope for it”. Ever inventive, he starts this conversation with Adam Smith not by talking about the work that led to his first Nobel Prize, or even to his second, but his very latest research findings from the lab. Recorded on the morning he was woken very early by the news from Stockholm, he goes on to discuss the dangerous thrill of ideas and how difficult problems just insist on being tackled: “If the damn thing comes back to me and says, ‘You don’t know the answer to this,’ then I say I’ve got to give that respect, and try it again.”
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