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World-class science, venture capital, and interdisciplinary team management: our week in the Bay Area

The inaugural cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows recently convened for a week of unique meetings, training sessions, and laboratory visits in the Bay Area of Northern California.

The Northern California Global Meeting was the third such convening for the 2018 Fellows and presented the group with opportunities to immerse themselves in the special environment of Silicon Valley.

The meeting was hosted by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, with a program designed to give the Fellows insights into the intersection between science and the private sector. Fellows met scientists with experience of spinning out and leading innovative companies and spent a day meeting iconic Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including John Doerr at Kleiner Perkins, Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures, and Dror Berman and Scott Brady at Innovation Endeavors.

The Fellows had focused sessions with world-renowned scientists and leaders, including Nobel prize-winner, Dr Stephen Chu, Dr John Hennessy, Chairman of Alphabet Inc., MacArthur Fellow, Dr Emmanuel Candès, and pharmaceuticals pioneer, Dr Lucy Shapiro. They received bespoke training in how to lead and manage interdisciplinary teams, led by Stanford’s Dr John Boothroyd. They also visited the US national laboratories, SLAC and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub in San Francisco, to learn more about those institutions’ large-scale interdisciplinary research programs.

2018 Fellow, Dr Karl Barber, commented: “Many of the Fellows in our cohort are finding ourselves at pivotal points in our careers. We are thinking about the potential to spin out technologies and how to do this to have the greatest impact on societal challenges. We are grappling with questions about how and when to commercialize our science. The Global Meeting in the Bay Area provided us with valuable insights, networks, and much to think about as we enter the next stage of our careers.”

View the video above, read our Fellows’ blogs and explore the photo gallery below for more insights into the Global Meeting and the experiences of the Schmidt Science Fellows.

Our Global Meeting Series is a unique and central aspect of Schmidt Science Fellows. Our Fellows join us for four convenings around the world during their Fellowship year, where they engage with new concepts, visit leading scientific facilities, and have the opportunity to build unrivaled networks within their cohort and with renowned thought-leaders from science, business, policy, and society.

Dr Mattia Serra: Silicon Valley – Different Perspectives for a Common Vision

A mixture of talented people with different viewpoints, but a shared vision, makes Silicon Valley a unique place…  Read more

Dr Karl Barber: Questions on bringing academic projects to life

The meeting succeeded in demystifying the west coast startup ethos for me but also led me to consider more soul-searching questions about whether the academic or industrial route would best serve the technology that I’m currently building in order to achieve maximal societal impact…  Read more