Oral history of British science
Wickramasinghe, Chandra (3 of 13). Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum. Life Story Interviews
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Science and Religion
2015-07-28, 2015-07-29, 2015-07-30
British Library, London
Wickramasinghe, Chandra, 1939- (speaker, male)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 3: Comments on disagreement with headmaster referred to at end of previous track as first instance of own tendency to rebel against authoritative positions; parents' support for own wish to take A Levels in mathematics and English literature; headmaster's punishment of own opposition/disagreement by withholding prefect status. [2:11] Discussion of impression, related in autobiography ADCL, that particular Tamil master would skew his reporting of pupil performance against Sinhalese pupils. [4:17] Comments on parents' conservative political outlook. [6:17] Comments on tendency to read in free time during A Levels; writing of poetry at this time, with particular interest in Haiku form; Ezra Pound as 'Western' poet interested in Haiku; [physical/handling noise on microphone until 9:54] reasons for own favouring of Haiku form. [9:07] Comments on content of own Haiku poems written at this time. [9:25] Story of events leading to successful application to read mathematics at the University of Ceylon [ECEY]. Comments on teaching and learning of mathematics, ECEY, including fact that all lecturers had been UOC scholars (with the Professor of Mathematics a former research student of Paul Dirac); later work of this professor as advisor to Tamil Tigers separatist movement; influence on self of other mathematics lecturer in regarding science, literature, art (and so on) as attempts to understand the same universe. [15:31] Comments on membership of a single university society: the mathematical society. [16:11] Brief comments on friends made at ECEY. Comments on development of interest in astronomy during degree, through applied course with related content and own reading of father's books. Mentions graduation at top of year in mathematics from ECEY; award of Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake postgraduate study at a university in the UK.
Life story interview with Professor of Astrobiology, Chandra Wickramasinghe