Oral history of British science

Williams, Carol (Part 2 of 9). An Oral History of British Science.

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  • Recording locations

    The British Library, London

  • Interviewees

    Williams, Carol, 1939- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 2: Stories of first school, Hitchin. [3:45] Stories of preparatory school [PS], WM. Mentions variable levels of confidence/shyness through life. Comments on science demonstration of a vacuum. Mentions teaching of domestic science. Further stories of PS. Brief comments on botany teaching. [10:34] Mentions move to GGS; teacher of chemistry. Mentions experiments on passage of light through glass; lack of interest in physics. Positive comments on biology teaching. Story of father’s talk on ‘birds and the bees’; lesson on reproduction of the rabbit. Comments on naiveté concerning human sexuality in early adulthood. [13:44] Description of experiments on refraction of light by glass, GGS. [14:42] Comments on experiments on metal, GGS. Description of science laboratory, GGS. Comments on needlework. [16:54] Comments on teaching/learning in geography, GGS. [18:21] Comments on own reading as teenager/young adult; reasons for liking AR books; reading of accounts of sailing/voyages of discovery. [20:48] Comments on parents’ political views. [22:02] Mentions mother’s non-churchgoing Christianity. Comments on own attendance, Sunday school. Stories of dancing/ballet lessons/performances, WM. [24:23] Story of father’s loss of religion during evacuation of Dunkirk, WW2. Comments on ‘token’ Christianity/non-churchgoing of grandparents. [25:24] Story of being enrolled on secretarial course by parents without consultation, as alternative to A Levels. Description of secretarial course, with related stories. Comments on feelings of embarrassment/shame at taking secretarial course within sight of GGS; favoured subjects, GGS; lack of applied physics, GGS.

  • Description

    Interview with geophysicist Dr Carol Williams

  • Related transcripts

    Dr Carol Williams interviewed by Dr Paul Merchant: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

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

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