From ignorance into knowledge, Francis Collins
Interviewee: Francis Collins. Francis Collins, the second director of the Human Genome Project, tells of his excitement about the project. (DNAi Location: Genome > The project > Players > Pros & Cons >From ignorance into knowledge)
Well when the Human Genome Project was first being discussed, I think there were those who were skeptical about whether it could be done. Others were skeptical about how much it was going to cost and whether it would take too much money away from other things. Others argued that it was going to be so tedious that only mediocre scientists would be interested in being involved. I didn't share any of those views, it always seemed to me from the very first moment where this was beginning to be at least somewhat seriously discussed, that this had to be the most exciting momentous kind of science that humankind could have contemplated up until this point. Reading our own instruction book, it is momentous in the sense that you only do it once, if you do it right that is, once it's done it's done and it will basically allow you to cross a bridge that you will never go back across in the future: from ignorance into knowledge.
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Robert Sinsheimer, then chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, brought experts together in 1985 to discuss the possibility of a Human Genome Project. He talks about his idea.
Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, talks about the mistaken notion of the Human Genome Project as "big science."
James Watson talks about the Human Genome Project and government funding.
Craig Venter speaks about the public sector's reaction to his plans to sequence the genome at a private company, Celera Genomics.
Ewan Birney talks about how many genes are in the human genome.
James Watson talks about funding the Human Genome Project.
Ari Patrinos, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's sequencing effort, talks about the private genome project announcement and public funding.
Craig Venter, leader of the private effort at Celera Genomics, speaks about the excitement the race to sequence the human genome generated.
Walter Gilbert talks about his feelings regarding the insulin project and science in general.