Last night we had the first in a series of Nature Network Berlin (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611091423/http://network.nature.com/group/berlin?) dinners scheduled around the International Congress of Genetics. It was a very entertaining evening, not least because of our special guests Oliver Smithies (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611091423/http://www.pathology.unc.edu/common/smithies.htm?), Mario Capecchi (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611091423/http://capecchi.genetics.utah.edu/?) (both 2007 Nobel laureates) and Matt Brown (Nature Network London Editor of the Year (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611091423/http://network.nature.com/london/news/blog/matt/2008/07/10/medley-of-medals-for-london-scientists?)). Just one of the many stories was by Oliver Smithies, who told us how he constructed a PCR machine after listening to a talk by G. Mullis – way before commercial Taq polymerase and PCR machines. And that machine is still running.
You could argue that surprisingly few people showed up for this event, including only four PhD students. But I don't worry too much about this, because increasing the awareness for these events takes time. But I wonder whether we could do better to disseminate the knowledge and life experience of these accomplished scientists. Time and travel costs allow only relatively few people to listen to keynote lectures or take part in a networking dinner.
The solution is obvious: we have to convince our Nobel laureates to become science bloggers. In many ways they are the perfect bloggers. Most of them probably don't know yet about science blogging, and some of them will need help with the technology. And perhaps only a few will be interested. But with a little help this could turn out very well. And we would have good company for Charles Darwin (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611091423/http://network.nature.com/profile/charlesdarwin?).