Uri Alon, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, is best known for his contributions to systems biology. But Uri is also famous for his very joyful and playful attitude to science, which is memorable for anyone who’s ever heard him speak (or sing). Uri’s research is exceptionally broad in terms of the fields he covers, which is one reason why he is one of today’s most cited researchers. We talked with Uri about a wide range of topics: about improvisation in science, about how to get unstuck, about how presentations can be creative and a chance to learn, and about how science needs all kinds of personalities to make progress. Uri discussed how to enter a new field, learn the field-specific language, and bring a new angle to it – by going into the ‘cloud’ and tackling the unknown. In thinking about how to train students to be creative, Uri talked about how we each have an internal tuning fork, which aligns with certain types of scientific problems that match our personality.
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