Illustration of Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna on how covid-19 is spurring science to accelerate

I have always loved mystery stories. Maybe that explains my fascination with science, which is humanity’s attempt to understand the longest-running mystery we know: the origin and function of the natural world and our place in it. As a child, I had only an intuitive sense of science as an approach to understanding things, such as why people get cancer or how blind spiders came to populate the lava tubes I explored on weekend outings in my hometown in Hawaii.

When I made my way to graduate school, I discovered Thomas Kuhn’s book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, published in 1962. It made a compelling case for “paradigm shifts”, in which the accumulation of challenges to a supposed truth eventually overturns the accepted understanding of it. This seemed to explain the observation that scientific ideas and practice often bumble along for a long time but then experience a rapid and substantial change that disrupts the regular way of working…


Genomics, Infectious Disease


UC Berkeley



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