January 23, 2014
another straggler from the latter part of the year, here. i was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to photograph professor arieh warshel, one of three people awarded the 2013 nobel prize in chemistry. along with martin karplus and michael levitt, dr. warshel won for work that he actually began in the 70s, that – and i’m paraphrasing and simplifying here – allows scientists to model chemical reactions & systems with computers. to run simulations, that is, instead of, say, blowing up the lab like i may have been inclined to do in morgan schwartz’s 11th grade chemistry class. accidentally, of course.
you can see him explaining his work here.
dr. warshel is now the third nobel laureate i’ve photographed (that i know of), though i don’t follow these things as closely as i should, and i’m sure someone else in the archive must have a nobel prize hidden away somewhere. he’s actually quite friendly with venki ramakrishnan, and there is apparently some good natured ribbing amongst the two.
dr. warshel was very concerned that the photographs not somehow embarrass his wife, which i thought was very sweet. he even used his iphone to check his hair, to make sure everything was behaving properly.
we also shot in his office, where he says he wears noise canceling headphones quite a lot of the time. he’s not wearing them to listen to music, but as a matter of necessity as his office directly overlooks the university’s football stadium and he finds the noise – especially the rap music – to be somewhat insufferable. if i had to work in such close proximity to sports i don’t think my dream of getting a nobel prize would ever be realized. not that it will, anyway. though i am certainly not above accepting undeserved awards. or giant novelty checks.