Published 30 June 2015 by Akshat Rathi

Five questions to a Nobel Laureate: Dan Shechtman



How much sleep do you need and does it affect your work?

On a normal day, I go to sleep at about 11pm and wake up at about 5.45am. When I’m travelling, I don’t have jet lag. I just sleep when I can.


Are you addicted to something? Science cannot be the answer

Many things. I’m addicted to aesthetics. I like arts: Be it music or paintings. I’m an old-style lover, and I don’t understand modern art. I’m addicted to films. I like to watch classics, and see them again and again. Show me Casablanca one evening and I will watch it.


What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?

I love being in nature. I enjoy watching flora and fauna.


Where do your best ideas come from?

I search for a problem to be solved or a need to be fulfilled.


What one advice would you give Young Scientists?

If you want to succeed in your career, develop “emotional intelligence”. Learn to see the other and learn to relate to them. Learn to express your opinion and deliver your ideas eloquently.

Akshat Rathi

Akshat Rathi is a reporter for Quartz ( in London. He has previously worked at The Economist and The Conversation. His writing has appeared in Nature, The Guardian and The Hindu. He has a PhD in chemistry from Oxford University and a BTech in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.