In classical ballet, artistic creativity is combined with strict discipline. Bacteriologist Emmanuelle Charpentier knows this all too well. Trained in classical ballet and piano, she says it’s not a bad background to have as a researcher citing this as the source of her meticulous accuracy and persistence through repetitive efforts. And, she adds, a scientist needs to cultivate her/his artistic side, be creative and a little bit crazy — at least sometimes.
Leisure: “I have been very busy with work in recent years and even more as a result of all the attention surrounding CRISPR-Cas9, but I really try to keep up with other interests too, such as sporting activities. I am very much interested in culture, art and design. I can at least find the time to listen to music while working, walking and thinking, and I enjoy listening to debates by philosophers and sociologists that question the world and our society. This is where I find my energy and balance.”
Best mode of transport: “Bike! I cycle wherever I am – Paris, New York, Vienna, Umeå, Braunschweig – and currently on a daily basis in Berlin.”
“I was and remain very passionate about the MIMS concept at Umeå University. It focuses on a very high level of education and research, with regard to both high-quality research and insight into how to promote fundamental research and the education of postgraduate students in the long term. The concept also takes into account that good research takes time and requires good working conditions in which a community pools its energy and the administrative burden is small. I appreciate that The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine gave me the academic freedom I needed.”