For Harold Varmus, asking difficult questions, devising experiments to answer them, and the joy of telling others about your results are among the rewards in science. In a wide-ranging interview with Dan Rather, Varmus discusses his journey from literature major to scientist, and from the discovery of oncogenes to the creation of the Public Library of Science. Varmus reflects on his time as a researcher, as Director of the National Institutes of Health, and on the importance of open communication in science.

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