Oral history of British science
Williams, Carol (Part 3 of 9). An Oral History of British Science.
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The British Library, London
Williams, Carol, 1939- (speaker, female)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 3: Comments on father’s dislike of own tone of voice; enrolment by father in elocution classes, aged 14, including own reaction. [1:55] Comments on application for post in labour exchange [LE], including father’s influence, attraction of release for further education. Description of work in LE, with related story. [6:56] Mentions part time study, O Level mathematics; evening classes, economics O/A Level. Story of outward bound course, North Wales, including observation of marine fossils at altitude. [9:20] Description of work as PA to factory inspectorate, with story of being advised to study science. Mentions evening classes, including O Level physics. [12:29] Story of development of interest in advertising; enrolment in CTC. Further details of story of deciding to take natural sciences A Levels (geology, biology, geography), including sights seem in CTC laboratories. [16:45] Comments on reasons why sights in CTC encouraged decision to take natural sciences A Levels. [18:29] Description of content of A Level geology. Brief story of geology field course, Derbyshire. [20:23] Comments on discussion of CD in A Level geology, 1961/1962; geology teacher (husband of geography teacher); admiration for people with degrees achieved through part-time study. [22:03] Comments on teaching/learning in geography, involving film strips. [23:47] Story of successful application to UOL, geology, including parents’ positive response. [26:19] Story of starting degree, UOL. Comments on Professor (of geology) Peter Sylvester-Bradley [PSB]. Description of Department of Geology [DG], UOL. Story of field weekend organised by student Geological Society [GS]; role as secretary of GS. [29:59] Mentions only female among 7 undergraduate geologists. Description of/comments on DG staff, with related stories. Story of expectations of/meeting female geologist Janet Sutton. [33:32] Comments on own feelings at being the only female undergraduate geologist; perception of acceptance by others; feelings of uncertainty concerning own ability in relation to others. [35:45] Description of content of geology, first year: palaeontology, crystallography. [39:32] Comments on friendships, UOL; friendliness of DG; activities outside degree, including walking, tennis, squash. [42:15] Mentions lack of discussion of CD, DG, UOL. Comments on being taught that the Pacific had been deepened by removal of rock seal by Moon’s gravity; effect of later computer fitting of the continents work, presented by Edward (Teddy) Bullard [TB] at 1965 Royal Society [RS] CD meeting on credibility of CD. [44:13] Mentions involvement in Student Union [SU]; writing of articles for GS magazine; attendance of Leicester Literary and Philosophical Association. [45:22] Story of listening to SU quartet, contemplating own future. [46:16] Mentions field weekends in Norfolk, examining glacial deposits. Comments on field course, Donegal, Northern Ireland. [47:05] Comments of effect of geology fieldwork on knowledge of British Isles, in context of limited travel. Mentions temporary employment/sailing. [48:20] Story of field course, Donegal, including study of flow structures in granite, clothing, equipment used. [55:05] Story of changing to geology/geography degree, to avoid mapping project, allowing summer crewing for Royal Ocean Racing Club. Mentions employment opportunities for graduate geologists in mineral companies, Australia. Comments on content of third year geology. Mentions final examinations. Comments on Donegal field course accommodation. [59:14] Story of development of interest in archaeology/botany; parents’ insistence on application for employment. Story of interview for post of Research Assistant [RA] to DDM, DGG, . [1:04:07] Description of staff dress, DGG. Mentions contrast between appearance of TB, Ben Browne [BB]. Comments on tea/coffee room; TB’s role as storyteller during tea/coffee time. Comments on character of DGG secretary Molly Wisdom [MW]. Description of DDM/SV’s models showing magnetic profiles.
Interview with geophysicist Dr Carol Williams