Cassandra Extavour is a Professor of developmental and evolutionary biology at Harvard University, and she is an Investigator at the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Cassandra’s pioneering research focuses on how germ cells – those immortal cells that form the next generation – are specified in different animals. Cassandra is a champion for diversity and inclusivity, helping to found the Pan-American Society of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Cassandra has a second, part-time job as a professional soprano, singing opera and Baroque music with professional ensembles around the world, and we talked with her about how creativity in science and music is similar. Our conversation with Cassandra led us to discuss how reading broadly across fields and generations forms the substrate for new ideas, and how speaking the “languages” of different fields can stimulate ideas.
For more information on Night Science, visit https://www.biomedcentral.com/collections/night-science .