Meeting Dr. Watson, Co-Discoverer of DNA and Creator of the Human Genome Project

IMG_2720 High Res_Cropped_png

I had the rare treat of meeting with, and presenting Pandora and the Music Genome Project to the scientist who actually discovered DNA, Dr. James Watson. He’s a wonderful man with an obvious curiosity, and some very strong opinions about Chinese opera!

Had a terrific time touring the Cold Spring Harbor facility out on Long Island, where a global assembly of some of the world’s brightest natural scientists come together to do bench research. We convened for a town hall in a seminar room full of biologists and their friends to talk Genome.

It was certainly an unusual town hall with a whole new set of questions around the science and implications of the Music Genome Project.

One comment that really struck me was the idea of inserting random songs into stations to see if it would generate a spontaneous and random improvement – just like a genetic mutation! It’s a really interesting notion, after all, that’s the process that has defined human evolution for thousands of years.

Looking forward to our Milwaukee town hall tomorrow night (10/13) at the Iron Horse Hotel.

Tim (Founder)

Tim Westergren


21 thoughts on “Meeting Dr. Watson, Co-Discoverer of DNA and Creator of the Human Genome Project

  1. Love the new website!!! I have been a listener for about 5 years and the new website nails it! Simpler design, quicker turns on the advertising, no limits to listening, and ALL OF THE LYRICS – FINALLY!
    Keep up the good work and I will continue to pimp PANDORA to anyone who hasn’t heard of it yet.

  2. Tim
    i just wanted to thank you so much for coming to Milwaukee!!
    my buddy Steve invited me, i wasn’t on a email list
    btw, the Brewers won that night =D
    i learned a lot in that meeting about you, your company, your struggle to start, run and maintain a baby like this ..
    it made me appreciate so much all the work behind my jams!!
    i also learned the importance of using the pause button ;)
    also thank you for the t-shirts,
    greatest of Luck, safety & fun on your future Town hall meetings,

  3. Tim,
    That was an awesome town hall meet-up last night in Milwaukee. Despite the unintended conflict with the Brewers game, it was a good crowd. I definitely made the right choice of where I spent my time. :)
    I want to thank you again for coming to Milwaukee and sharing your thoughts, experiences and listening to us.
    P.S. There may be a solution to the issue of the large amount of Pandora server space that would be needed if personal genomes were created to be viewed. Make it an opt-in feature that requires the data to be stored on the user’s device. A complexity to that scenario that would need to be overcome is how do you sync usage data if multiple devices are used on a single account.

  4. I am so glad Pandora was created! However I find it kind of difficult to specifically match my music taste due to there being a lack of separation between me liking the song, or the artist themselves. For example I am currently listening to your Halloween party station and I like Michale Jackson’s Thriller but now it is playing a lot of his other , non Halloween songs. Maybe if there was a like song / like artist button Pandora could better decipher the type of music each person wants on each of their stations.
    Sincerely A Loyal Listen,
    Chandra Rhodes

  5. Why are you now running commercials over songs right in the middle of them??? Also ever since your upgrade, everything I do in other programs makes the music cut out. It’s very aggravating. I used to love Pandora. No longer. Your changes suck.

  6. The upgrades of Pandora give it a sense of legitimacy, which I am quite fond of.
    I wasn’t sure who to contact on the Pandora, but I think it would be really cool if Pandora had a feature where each station had a tab that monitored and listed all the tracks that someone “thumbs up”-ed. That way, if someone were to be compiling a playlist or library on their itunes, they would have an incredible selection to choose from that not only was predetermined, but suited their musical tastes in manner of seconds. Just a suggestion . . .

  7. You could have some sort of random station opition:
    When you create this special type of station you will not need to add seeds, the station would play many random songs out of all songs in pandora catalog, the users would thumb up and down songs.
    After some amount of random songs (100?, 75?, user choose where he want to stop getting random songs?, When he give a thumb up to one song?…) this station will stop giving random songs to this use and the thumb ups and down will start to take effect, if he doenst one thumb up at least one song before the randomness limit the station would continue to give random songs to him until he give thumb up to some song.
    The idea of inserting random songs at normal stations would be a risky thing, if someone join pandora and want to check how it is, if he gets some random songs not related with what he wanted, this user could think pandora doenst work and could decide to quit from pandora.
    But at the same time if pandora station expose this guy to a new genre that is not similar to what he listen but what he problably love, this guy would think “holy f**k, this song is really good, thanks pandora, thanks…”

  8. Hi i would like to thank you for your nice welcoming and thank you for all of the music that is available to this new stage in the WORLd <3 <3 thank you sooooooooooo much

  9. @Chandra — On the web, you can like an artist without thumbing up the song that is currently playing. To do this, simply click on the name of the artist and then click “Like this Artist”.
    @Angela — That’s right, Pandora is free! We also offer an $36 subscription called Pandora One which removes all advertising, but that is optional. You can find more information here:
    @Marty — Please contact us at so we can assist you.
    @Austin — On the web, the tracks that you thumbs-up appear on your Profile as “Likes”.
    Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!

  10. Still the music playlist are not what you expect…why Pandora does not use more intense algorithms to decide the songs of a playlist?…using human filters limits the selection by the taste os a person(s)…I have been working for a while now in something like Shazam but to identify “similar” songs, not identical, and the results are quite interesting…beside there is a lot other things you can do to know what people like…another thing…there is a simple solution to fix the skips/DMCA limitations, and it will also help to determine the playlist…anyway..good luck..:D

  11. Hey Pandora,
    I think you guys should switch your rating. thumbs up and thumbs down is not enough. I think you should do a two thumbs up and two thumbs down idea. Two thumbs for favorite songs and one thumb for songs you like. This allows for greater indethness of the listener. It creates a cheap way to get better results with customers. Also, two thumbs down would be dislike the the artist and 1 thumb down means the listener does not like the song. This creates and ability for more indepth genre varied yet specific to the listener. This also creates the ability to more personalize ads. This will, with good business sense obviously generate extra revenue.
    I hope you look at the idea.
    BTW I’m full of them. Econ, major, Aquinas college

  12. Dr Watson, a true pioneer!
    The Human genome project near where i live in Cambridge, Uk does a lot of good work, stemcell research in particular. this would not be possible without Dr Watsons incredible work. In particlar his book The Double Helix is a milestone publication.
    live gold rate

  13. This is supposed to be a website that allows a listener to listen to music of their choice, plus provide new music selections that a listener might enjoy based on their selections?
    To date I have had to “thumbs down” chris brown repeatedly. Often twice in a row. Just now it WAS THE FIRST SONG OFFERED as “my” station began.
    If this continues I will no longer bother to listen at all. It is just too annoying.
    And if this is an example of the ability of a business to select music appropriate to their venue and taste, then I will not be able to use this station, or recommend its use.
    You should be able to understand if a listen has rejected an artist more than once, that not only is that not an artist the listener enjoys, but that anything similar will be rejected. Please fix this problem before you lose me and other listeners.
    Funny I did not have this problem before my “free listening hours” ran out.

  14. PANDORA is WONDERFUL… I have been a listener for at least 5 years. I have several ststions saved, and right now I am listening to my “CHRISTMAS STATION” I know it’s a little early, but the stores are doing it so why not, RIGHT ?!?
    The only thing I don’t like is that you don’t have a back button for songs, you can skip forward to a song, but not replay one you like. Please put a replay button.