While the 48th annual Nobel Conference doesn’t begin until Tuesday, Oct. 2, Dr. David Gallo has been busy getting his message out to various audiences during the two days prior to the Conference.
Gallo, who is Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and the 10 a.m. presenter on day one of the Nobel Conference, spoke to a sold out audience of approximately 400 people at the Nobel Conference Preview Dinner on Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Minnesota Science Museum.
After appearing on the Minnesota Public Radio show The Daily Circuit on Monday morning, Gallo spoke to high school students at both Minneapolis Edison and St. Peter High Schools. The high school visits by Gallo are part of a Nobel Conference-based outreach program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that is now in its third year of existence.
Gallo visited Robert Shoemaker’s college level biology class at St. Peter High School where he discussed a number of topics including his experiences exploring the remains of the Titanic, the effects humans are having on the health of the world’s oceans, and how he rose to his current position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute after spending seven years as a shoe salesman after high school.
“I think it’s important to be able to speak to students one on one in a way that isn’t structured. To help them understand that there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored and the power of tapping into their own curiosity,” Gallo said. “I speak to students as often as I can — I think it’s one of the most important things we do. It’s not that I’m trying to be Jacques Cousteau, but I’m trying to ignite that little bit of Jacques Cousteau that I know is in every one of those kids. I think it’s important to reach out to them and let them know that it hasn’t all been done and that there is a role they can play.”
His advice for college students looking to build a career in the sciences is similar. “Follow your passions and take your life seriously. Don’t just be floating in the stream of life,” Gallo said. “Start making your own way, because all the most successful and fulfilled people I know tell me that’s how they did it. They found something they truly loved, focused on it, and stayed with it.”
Gallo’s Nobel Conference lecture can be viewed live online at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, by going online to gustavus.edu/nobelconference.
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