Published 24 July 2015 by Akshat Rathi

Five questions to a Nobel Laureate: Jack Szostak



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

I sleep about 6 or 7 hours. If you can’t get enough sleep, you can’t really pay attention to things.


Are you addicted to something? Science cannot be the answer

Not really. I drink coffee in the mornings, but that’s about it. At conferences I drink more than usual, but that’s about it.


What’s your idea of a perfect holiday?

I like lots of different kinds of things. Doing things outside, such as hiking.


Where do your best ideas come from?

I think it’s quite important to give yourself some time to think. I try to make sure, almost everyday, that I have some period to sit quietly and think about new experiments.


What one advice would you give to young scientists?

If you really like doing science and want to have a life in science, then you should try to do something really significant and not just small, incremental things. Think of a big problem that really grabs your interest and focus on that.

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.