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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

In medical school, you're required to memorize a body of facts. You go to gross anatomy, and you learn what muscles attach where and what goes where. You memorize it. When you go into the research lab you're creating new knowledge, and it was play for me. It was like doing art, or writing poetry, or painting on a canvas. So it wasn't work. When I was in the research lab from 2:00 to 4:00 o'clock in the morning, it wasn't work for me. It was play. It's what I enjoyed doing. Now for someone that didn't like research it would be really hard work, but for someone who enjoyed it, it was fun.
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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

As early as I can remember, I always had a sense of fascination with biology -- anything related to biology. Even though it's not politically correct to say now, when I was eight years old one of the things I would enjoy doing was to go out with my BB gun with my friends and shoot birds to get them back to the house to operate on them. To save them, to get the BB out, you know, to do the surgery to remove the BB. And, you know, dissected frogs. My father actually saw me dissect a frog heart, and observed my sense of curiosity with science, and then went out and got me a chicken heart and I dissected that. And then he went to the slaughterhouse and got me a larger cow heart -- which was really incredible, because here is this big, huge heart with all these different chambers -- and allowed me to dissect that. It really instilled a sense of curiosity in me, but my love was always science and always biology, and I had a sense of fascination with that.
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Keith Black

Pioneering Neurosurgeon

I think one of the true gifts that one can have is to find out what it is that they truly love to do. For some people it's playing the piano. For others it might be swimming, or some sort of athletic event. To me it was science, and I happened to get lucky enough to find my love for science, which I still love. What that allows me to do essentially is -- as a scientist and as a neurosurgeon -- I don't work when I go to work. I mean it's what I love to do. If I didn't get paid for what I wanted to do, I would want to pay to do it. So one is very blessed to find what it is that they love to do. The other thing that it does, it allows you to really devote the focus, the hours, the intensity into whatever it is, to become very good at it. Whatever you do, you're going to have to spend a lot of time perfecting your craft, perfecting your art. So if I'm up late working on a research project, or working to save a patient's life, it's not work for me. It's what I enjoy doing, and it's not difficult to do if you're having fun.
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Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and we have a graduate research program. A graduate program, students come to the program to do their Ph.D. work, which means doing research in molecular biology. So the program attracts terrific students, and one of them was Carol, and then the students choose a lab and a project that they'll do research in, and I had the great good fortune that Carol chose to work in my lab.

Carol Greider: I remember the day that we actually met. It was during the interviews when I was interviewing for graduate schools, and I guess at Berkeley I had actually been accepted, and then I went around to talk to professors, just to decide whether I wanted to go there or not. And I had a great time in my conversation with Liz, and she was just very excited about what she was doing, and I was having such a great time talking to her, that the time went by so fast and I really wanted to know more. I remember I asked you if I could come back and talk a little bit more, because I was staying just up the road in Davis. And then, between when I came back and when I'd left, my father had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital, but I did everything I could to come down, because I was going to go back and talk to you some more. And that was sort of the thing that clinched for me that what I wanted to do was to go to Berkeley and to work in Liz's lab. Typically, one goes to a university and then chooses a lab once you go there, but that was my goal after meeting her.
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Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I think I was very lucky, because I knew I was interested in living things from -- very, very young. I grew up in Australia and I would -- my mother tells me this, you know, I have no direct recollection -- but I remember I would pick up little poisonous ants and poisonous jellyfish. There are a lot of poisonous creatures in Australia, and I would pick them up and sort of pet them, and I'd really like them. I was interested in them, and of course this was horrifying for my mother, who was a physician who could see the stinging and the potential biting that would take place, but I seemed to have lucked out. I never got bit by any of these. And I think I have just known for a long time I was fascinated by living things, so I loved animals. And then in high school, as I started learning about what's in living things, I got very fascinated by what was then called biochemistry. Protein chemistry was something that was the field then, and I got fascinated by -- what are the building blocks of living things -- cells and molecules.
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David Boies

Counselor and Human Rights Advocate

David Boies: I think that cases are, in some senses, are a little like children. I have six children. It's hard to say which one I'm most proud of. But I think that certainly the marriage equality cases are cases that I am enormously proud of. I think that we have in those cases contributed to a really important change in this country. The cases that I've done in the area of racial equality as a young lawyer working in Mississippi, and then later on I successfully sued the Republican National Committee on behalf of the Democratic National Committee in 1986, I think it was, to stop the RNC from targeting black and minority districts with voter ID, voter security kinds of tactics. That litigation I'm pretty proud of. I'm proud of the Microsoft case. That was, I think, important, a challenging case. I'm certainly proud of the Westmoreland CBS libel case. I think that was very important in terms of establishing and confirming freedom of the press and the ability of the press to engage in very direct, hostile criticism of government action.
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