Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 12 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 12: MP talks some more about his latest experiments during last weeks and about some disagreement about it amongst his colleagues. MP does not believe in computers solving problems. More discussion on this work using yeast and building physical model of structure. With help of colleague who is good at computer modelling he produced better structure. More help from other colleagues. He is still every day in lab. also lot of work with correspondence and reading but enjoys most 'solving problems'. He also works for the New York Review of Books, he likes the editor and explains why. MP's present review is on book by Oliver Sachs - a psychiatrist - 'Uncle Tungsten' - More about the author and also the editor. He now explains how he came to write the book ''Is Science Necessary' and why he did it - all connected to an invitation to give a lecture in Venice. He mentions some of the thoughts in the book, e.g. on D.D.T. and the wrong scare about it, on loss of fossil fuels, on nuclear energy etc. More about the enjoyable time he had in Venice and later in Switzerland in Bernese Oberland where it rained all the time which gave him time to think and lead him to reading philosophy (Popper). Now some talk about republishing the book 'Is Science Necessary'.

  • 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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