Rights: The University of Waikato Published 16 November 2007 Download

Former Genesis CEO, Dr Jim Watson, remembers how he came to be a scientist, the role that mentors played in this journey, and the realisation that you could make a living by 'doing science'.


Dr Jim Watson (Genesis R&D)

t the end of high school, I knew I didn’t really want to milk cows for the rest of my life. All I wanted to do was science, develop a career in science, and become particularly good at something. Two of the pioneers of gene technology in NZ came to the university and gave a number of lectures, and that somehow struck a chord somewhere within me. So I went up to them after the last lecture, and said I've got to come and work with you. They didn’t respond, but they wrote me a letter several months later saying I could come and do a masters degree with them. And that for me was the turning point in my own life, because they became my mentors, and I suddenly realised you could make a living by doing science.