The 2019 Haldane Lecture was delivered by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, on February 7th at Wolfson College, Oxford. The lecture was introduced by College President Sir Tim Hitchens.
The thousands of genes in our DNA are translated by ribosomes - ancient, enormous molecular machines that read the genetic code to make the thousands of proteins that carry out the functions of life. Although the ribosome was discovered in the 1950s, unravelling its million atom structure took over four decades. Venki Ramakrishnan will frame this in term of his career and show how science does not proceed in a series of logical steps but in fits and starts, with many characters and their egos, rivalries, competition and collaboration, blunders and dead ends.
Sir Venki is a structural biologist who in 2009 received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and was knighted in 2012. In 2015, he was elected as President of the Royal Society.