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Boyer says, the "capstone" of his career. Although it
did not lead to further work on his part, he observes that the secretaries
at UCLA now know where to find him. He has forgiven the "leading
journal" that rejected his work. In retrospect, he says the
Nobel Prize was "the last thing I had in mind when I happened
to pick a problem with such an unusual solution," and he credits
his choice to pure luck. The other major factor that got him the
Prize, he says, was "longevity: I outlived all my competitors."
longevity may be one of the benefits of Boyer's research. He has
enhanced understanding of the kind of damage caused at the molecular
level by disease and aging. One potential application of his work
is to prevent that damage from happening to the cells of human beings.
prize itself will help to bring about that, and other benefits as
well. Boyer says "one of the services of the Nobel Foundation"
is to call attention to basic science so that the importance of
new fields can be recognized. "It's a pleasure to my former
students; it gives them a boost. It makes people who've hired them
think they're better because they worked with a Nobel Prize winner."
the research groups developed at UCLA and other American institutions
are, for Boyer, an "important return on investment that is
hardly ever recognized by the public" that pays for them. There
is "a tremendous apprentice teaching system, a relationship
between professors, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows"
that provides "the most effective tool that society could develop"
for encouraging basic science and all its beneficial consequences.