In 2009 Ada Yonath was awarded with the Nobel Prize for her studies of the structure of the ribosome. To Nachrichten aus der Chemie she talked about science in small countries, what she would have done, if she had not become a scientist and why she doesn't want to be a pop star.
Nachrichten aus der Chemie: Hearing your talk about the ribosome yesterday at the Lindau Nobel Prize winners meeting, I thought to myself, there aren't many chemists who can muster such enthusiasm about a molecule! Are your feelings for the ribosome in some sense romantic?
Ada Yonath: I never thought about it quite that way, but maybe that's they way they've become. I love the work. I also love the pictures of the ribosome, its aesthetics — it's simply very, very pretty. I'm not sure I can really love a molecule. But I certainly loved the research we did on the ribosome: the way we came to understand its function has been very exciting for me right along.
Nachrichten: It took you two decades of ribosome research to comprehend its structure. Looking back, it seemed to be very straightforward from the start. But there must have been a lot of frustrations.
Yonath: Yes. There we