Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 7 of 19). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Molecular Biology

  • Recording date

    2001-06-30, 2001-08-18, 2001-09-15, 2001-10-06, 2001-10-27, 2001-11-29, 2001-12-08

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cambridge, UK

  • Interviewees

    Perutz, Max, 1914-2001 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 7: Restating dates: MP to Cambridge Sept.36, completed Ph.D in 1938. MP wrote a letter to Mr. Blair after 11th Sept. and reads out his letter on tape. He gives reason why he wrote and his hope that colleagues in Germany and France will also write to their Prime Ministers. Gives reason why he did not write to Pope. More discussion on events of 11th September, communications with friends in U.S.A. Back to work in Cambridge. A man came to Cavendish and wanted someone to work with him on glacier research on Jungfraujoch which needed crystallographer - Gerald Seligman in charge and explained what job was about. MP the obvious man to do it, can ski, loves mountains and is crystallographer. He spent 4 happy months on Jungfraujoch, it started him on a sideline which helped him later in his research. Expedition started in summer 1938. MP stayed at international research station on Jungfraujoch, wonderful views, climbed Eiger while there. Seligman was leader of job, they worked in ice grotto below freezing temperatures. They used section cutting machine and MP explains techniques used. MP found results intriguing and tought him that nature is never dull. MP explains more about nature of crystals and got picture how glaciers developed. MP now talks about Austria now occupied by Germans - and the effects on his family. Parents escaped to Prague, furniture stored and bombed during war.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist and author Max Perutz is interviewed about his life and work. Mentor to James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, Perutz died before this interview could be completed.

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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