Oral history of British science

Land, Frank (3 of 18). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Subjects

    Computer Software

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    The British Library

  • Interviewees

    Land, Fred Frank, 1928- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: Remarks on neighbourhood in Charlottenburg, Germany: near Funkturm, middle class, apartment blocks, near tennis courts. Description of piece of ground he played on as child. Remarks on: being good at athletics, winning a scooter race on holiday. [02:44] Comments on holidays: sent to holiday camps, including a terrible camp in Czechoslovakia, sleigh ride in the winter. [06:53] Remarks hobbies: not remembering much in Germany; enjoying poaching and the country life in Britain, protecting an orchard from Blackbird with an air-gun, still enjoying shooting; reading as he got older, particularly anthropology and geology; [09:44] interested in science but having bad teachers. Remarks on gap in education when he couldn't speak English, not being good at mathematics, wife and grandchild being good at maths. [11:13] Comments on growing awareness of changing political situation in 1930s Germany. Remarks on Kristallnacht changing situation. Remarks on journey to England where cousins had found them a home, which was destroyed in an air raid. [15:39] Remarks on evacuation village being bombed. Remarks on streaming in school, moved up classes, doing better in school at sixth form under Miss Stephenson, doing better at humanities than sciences. [18:40] Comments on influence of Karl Popper [KP] at LSE, difference of KP public and private face. Remarks on 'Wittgenstein's Poker' and KP's account of his 1946 confrontation with Ludwig Wittgenstein. Remarks on KP's dislikes, wide ambition, and stimulating teaching. [22:24] Remarks on Harold Laski [HL]: brilliant teacher, tolerant of different viewpoints. Remarks on almost doing anthropology at LSE. [24:28] Remarks on choice of LSE: influence of 6th form economics teacher; story about not getting deferment but escaping conscription due to naturalisation status; interview; wife wanting to study with HL at LSE. [27:40] Comments on being taught by Nobel prize winners: Friedrich Hayek, Arthur Lewis, Ronald Coase, John Hicks, James Meade, who was their graduate supervisor. [pause mic trouble] [30:50] Remarks on KP and James Meade being biggest influences at LSE, along with HL and a history lecturer. Remarks on: boring lecturers at LSE, flexible workload depending on your level of interest, working with brother, use of Benzedrine on long night's work. [34:05] Comments on social activities at LSE: FL and RL running table tennis club, staff mixing over table tennis; RAG week; balls; watching reviews, starring Ron Moody and Bernard Levin; missing some activities due to living at home. [37:07] Further comments on influence of KP, stimulating reality of scientific method, and HL, tolerance and understanding of politics.

  • Description

    Interview with computer programmer and information systems theorist Frank Land.

  • Related transcripts

    Frank Land interviewed by Tom Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

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

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