Oral history of British science
Hoare, Tony (Part 1 of 15). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee’s home, Cambridge
Hoare, Charles Antony Richard, 1934- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 1: Born 11 Jan 1934, Fraser Nursing Home, Colombo, Ceylon. Remarks on family: father Henry Samuel Malorty a colonial civil servant; mother, Mary Francis Villas, daughter of a tea planter; four siblings; father. Remarks on evacuation to Rhodesia during Second World War: mother taking job at school in Gwelo; TH attending Kingsley Fairbridge School in Bulawayo; TH being a handful as a child; move to Durban in expectation of returning to Ceylon. [05:50] Remarks on: reunion with father; schooling in Bandarawela, Ceylon; anecdote about learning same basic mathematics at each school he attended; departure to England; attending Dragon School, Oxford; poor progress reports at school, leading him to to be put down a year, after which he excelled. [08:45 pause] Remarks on school: subjects studied; scholarships; Kings School Canterbury, Milner scholarship; brothers attending same school; School certificate, doing well in Latin, Greek, Maths; entering classical sixth form, with French and divinity. [11:55] Remarks on Religion: losing faith whilst in Ceylon; regaining faith at school, but losing it again later; reasons for changing beliefs; [13:15 pause] not being able to believe in immortality; parents' religious outlook, Catholicism, Anglicanism, Billy Graham revivalism. [15:40] Further remarks on education: Dragon School; Kings School by Canterbury Cathedral; examinations, anecdote about always being beaten by Barry Lock; scholarship to Merton college Oxford for 4 year classics course; TH university performance. [19:05] Remarks on TH interest in philosophy: reading Joad and Bertrand Russell, 'Human Knowledge: its scope and limits', at school; TH attraction Russell's reductionism; TH attraction to philosophy at school, easy way to learn about everything, Plato's 'Dialogues'; TH voracious reading; philosophy's use in answering general exam questions. [23:55] Comments on: TH's favoured subjects at school; appeal of mathematics; TH interest in probabilities, binomial theorem; applied and theoretical mathematics, TH more toward applied side. [28:50] Further remarks on school: good teachers, liking classics teacher Mr Macintosh; description of King's School; school sports; prefects; daily life at boarding school; TH dislike of PE, sports at schools in Ceylon. [35:05] Description of TH as teenager: reserved; considering himself unpopular, nicknamed 'Prof'.
Interview with computer scientist Sir Tony Hoare.