Swiss Nobel prizewinner Jacques Dubochet says fame is not easy

Nobel Prize winner Jacques Dubochet has written a book about life and science. Keystone

The Swiss winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Jacques Dubochet, says fame has opened doors for him, but is not always easy to handle.

This content was published on May 9, 2018 - 18:00

Dubochet, 75, was speaking in an interview with Swiss public television RTS on Wednesday, following the publication of his book “Parcours” (My Path) on his life and his science.   

“I used to write little things all the time on a blog that no one would see,” he told RTS. “When the Nobel Prize came, it gave me a voice. I was caught up in the media whirlwind and I wanted to clarify what I was talking about.” 

But Dubochet, 75, also says his recent fame has not always been easy to handle. “It’s not easy to live with,” he told RTS. “You feel overwhelmed. I thought I had a harmonious life, but then all of a sudden people offer you amazing opportunities and you have to make choices.” 

His celebrity has allowed him to meet a lot of young people, which is something he particularly appreciates. “The best part is meeting with young people and dyslexics,” says Dubochet who used to be dyslexic himself. “Two things that have enriched my life a lot are the contact with young people and with the media.

Dubochet stressed his conviction that science should be for the common good. “It should not be put at everyone’s disposal to make money or enhance their personal interests,” he told RTS.

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