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Attendees of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of esteemed scientists on Tuesday, including Nobel Laureates J. Michael Bishop, Martin Chalfie, H. Robert Horvitz, Harold Kroto, John Mather, and Draper Prize award winner Frances Arnold.
Joe Palca, moderator and NPR science correspondent, kicked off the event by asking each of the panelists to describe their life and work in 60 seconds.
What struggles did you go through growing up?
What were you like at our age?
What principles do you live by?
What would you be if you weren’t a scientist?
What was the hardest problem you solved in high school?
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your work?
Students also asked the panelists about their favorite and most influential book; how they connect scientific findings, which can be complicated, to the everyday; what quote most inspires them; their greatest failure and how they overcame it; what personality trait most led to their success; how they deal with nasty or critical colleagues when presenting their research; what they see as the new industries and job of the future; what question they would ask Einstein; what teachers can do better in regards to science; when does the search for knowledge become dangerous; and more.
As a child, Brian Wu (ISEF 2018-2019), a senior at Horace Mann School in New York City, was fascinated by the stars.