Is this true? Are neuroscientists really the cool kids? If so, then what is the “coolest” avenue of neuroscience research? (And please don’t say consciousness studies.)
Q. Among biologists, is sperm research very respected?
A. Well, in biology, all the glamour is in neuroscience. The common thing said is: “Learning and memory, that’s the theoretical physics of biology.” In terms of prestige, reproduction is far down the line. Another thing: because reproductive research is about sex and possibly about contraception, it doesn’t get a lot of funding. That too has something to do with its low status.
Whenever I speak in some neurobiology department, you always get someone asserting, “Sperm aren’t as interesting as neurons.” I then have to say: “Sperm have everything neurons have, and more. Sperm can secrete DNA. They move. They have terrific mechanical problems to overcome.”