Now in its sixth year, the Civic Scientist Lecture Series, managed by the Baker Institute"s Science and Technology Policy Program, seeks to demystify science through talks by distinguished scientists from around the world.
Nobel laureate David Baltimore and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) biologist Alice Huang recently delivered the 2012 Civic Scientist lectures, addressing a full house at the institute's Doré Commons. Baltimore examined "The Crisis in Health Research," while Huang spoke on "Science Diplomacy in a Global Environment: Compete or Collaborate with Asia?"
Earlier in the day, Baltimore and Huang gave a talk to more than 200 students at Houston"s Carnegie Vanguard High School. After discussing their work, career paths and intriguing new developments in science, they fielded questions like "What area of science has the most unanswered questions?" and "How do I get a job in a research laboratory?"
"For people like me, who are interested in science, it was really eye-opening to learn what goes into being a scientist," said senior Carthal Anderson, 18. "For people who aren"t necessarily interested in science, I think this helped spark an interest."
It's not every day that students meet two of the nation's leading scientists, Anderson added. Baltimore is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech, where he was the president from 1997 to 2006. In 1975, at the age of 37, he won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
Huang is a senior faculty associate in biology at the Caltech. She was previously a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School, and subsequently dean for science at New York University.
Watch the video, above, of the April 12, 2012, Civic Scientist lectures with David Baltimore, Ph.D., and Alice Huang, Ph.D.