The taxi driver tip

Published June 29 2016

Our cover story about Scottish cabbie Davie Douglas was born of a tip from Stanford’s Suzanne Pfeffer. PHO-TAY PHOTOGRAPHY

Davie Douglas, the 69-year-old Scottish taxi driver at the center of this issue’s cover story, may seem an unconventional subject choice for a biochemistry and molecular biology magazine. But Douglas has an exceptional relationship to the field. Over the past decade he has become an unwitting science historian by keeping a guestbook in his cab and preserving encounters with a cadre of notable life scientists.

We at ASBMB Today are happy to be the first to do a story on Douglas and to be featuring images in the piece from his photographer son David — photos we find so stunning we’ve decided to use them online as part of the magazine’s very first immersive feature experience.  


We learned about Douglas through Suzanne Pfeffer, former American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology president and professor and chair of the biochemistry department at Stanford University. Pfeffer met Douglas on a work trip to Scotland and had an inkling that his story might be right for our readers. We were immediately taken with Douglas — and think you will be too — but know that we likely would not have found him on our own. (Although we consider ourselves a pretty in-the-know crew, exploratory trips to the castle-strewn hills and glens of foreign lands in search of story clues are a little beyond our means.)

We are grateful to Pfeffer for thinking Douglas would make a good profile for ASBMB Today and then actually getting in touch with us to propose the story. We encourage you to follow her lead and reach out whenever you encounter an interesting character of science or happen upon a captivating development that you think should be in the magazine. We’ll look for your suggestions at Who knows, you too could land a story on the cover!

Lauren Dockett Lauren Dockett is the managing editor of ASBMB Today.