Grinnell College student Noah Most, a senior from Stillwater, Minn., has been awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship for one year of independent study and travel abroad.
Most is one of only 40 students nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.
A double major in economics and general science-biology, Most held three research internships studying genetics, and also was a co-leader of the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, a student-led microfinance organization.
Most plans to use his Watson Fellowship to study the do-it-yourself biology movement, which, he says, "seeks to democratize synthetic biology so that anyone can explore an entrepreneurial idea in her basement."
Most will travel to community bio-garages in the United Kingdom, Canada, India and Singapore to work with synthetic biology entrepreneurs who "share resources, proliferate scientific knowledge, and seek to build a low-cost infrastructure so that even non-scientists can learn, tinker and innovate."
"The Watson affords gives me a chance to investigate the perfect fusion of my interests—equity, biology, economics, institutions, entrepreneurship, innovation—by exploring the extraordinary potential of synthetic biology to shape the world," Most said. "Through fusing these interests on their common thread, I want to learn from innovative change-makers to eventually become one myself."
Most is the son of Robert and Claire Most of Stillwater, Minn.
About the Watson Fellowships
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside of the U.S. to foster effective participation in the world community. Within the past 10 years, 14 Grinnell students have won Watson Fellowships.
About Grinnell College
Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.