Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 14 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 14: MP talks about Watson, why he wanted to join his team and his cooperation with Crick. MP now talks about his 'sideline' interests, e.g. glaciers and explains at length the reasons for'flow' of glaciers. He wanted to measure the vertical velocity of glaciers, started measurements in laboratory cold room and was joined by a physicist who studied 'flow' of metals. They decided on scheme to drill hole in glacier, fill with a steel tube and observe movement of inclination of tube. They chose the Jungfrau glacier, explains difficulty of making hole in ice. In 1948 he got grant from Royal Society for this work. MP now relates story of various mishaps during this venture including skiing and broken legs and blizzards on mountain but eventual success and inclination of tube showed that flow is faster on surface which is the same as in crystalline solids.

  • 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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