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A Year On

The University of California, Berkeley's Randy Schekman slept through the Nobel announcements this year, the Guardian writes.

Schekman won the prize last year, alongside Yale University's James Rothman and Stanford University's Thomas Südhof, for their work on cell transport, an area Schekman became interested in as a researcher at UC-San Diego, after hearing a talk by George Palade, another Nobel laureate, on how cells secrete proteins.

Today, the Guardian says Schekman is focusing on ramping up the open-access journal eLife that he started in 2012. After winning the Nobel last year, Schekman announced that his lab would no longer publish in luxury journals like Cell, Nature, and Science, as he argued that journals like those have undue influence on science and affect what researchers study.

In a quick Q&A, the Guardian asks Schekman about what science books people should read (The Double Helix by James Watson, The Eighth Day of Creation by Horace Judson, and François Jacob's autobiography The Statue Within), whether he'd go on a one-way trip to Mars (no, the cosmic radiation will kill you), and what scientific advances would change his daily life (work in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's, as his wife has dementia).

"When I was in high school I got called a nerd. But after I won the Nobel prize they invited me back," Schekman adds. "I rode up in a limousine and was greeted by a marching band and pompom girls. Kids wanted to take selfies with me. I had replaced Tiger Woods as their most famous graduate… for a day!"