Prachee Avasthi (L) and Seemay Chou (R), Founders of Arcadia

Can this tick bi­ol­o­gist and her team of ‘weirdo sci­ence’ en­thu­si­asts change the fu­ture of sci­en­tif­ic re­search?

It’s rare, though far from un­heard of, for sci­en­tists to leave pres­ti­gious aca­d­e­m­ic ap­point­ments. But Seemay Chou’s de­par­ture made a larg­er splash than most.

One cool, cloudy San Fran­cis­co af­ter­noon last Sep­tem­ber, she hit pub­lish on a Medi­um post ti­tled “Why I am build­ing Ar­ca­dia.” It dou­bled as a pub­lic res­ig­na­tion let­ter from her pro­fes­sor­ship at UCSF, where she was just months from tenure, and a roadmap to the grand $500 mil­lion ex­per­i­ment she planned next.

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