News has just come out that Venki Ramakrishnan is to be the new President of the Royal Society from December this year. Whilst apparently he’s keeping his presidential vision to himself for the moment – so it remains to be seen how things will move forward under him – it’s nevertheless a great feat to be elected: Congratulations!
In following from the current President, Paul Nurse, Venki’s area is biology – he jointly won a Nobel Prize in 2009 for determining the structure of the ribosome that reads the genetic code on RNA. It was undoubtedly groundbreaking and has lead to great improvements in our understanding of life. For me, however, what is most amazing is the mere fact that it’s possible – behind all Venki’s work, and many other biologists’ around the world, has been a revolution in the methods for determining such huge crystal structures – when I read about it I’m always stunned at how much detail can obtained!