Oral history of British science
Tudge, Colin (6 of 10). Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum
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Science and Religion
2016-01-28, 2016-02-09, 2016-03-11, 2016-05-17
Tudge, Colin, 1943- (speaker, male)
Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)
Part 6: Further comments on relations with MK. Comments on work as FE, NS, including preference for writing over editing, commissioning of articles by zoologist and conservationist David Macdonald, article on physics of the cricket ball [7.8.1980], article by Rupert Sheldrake [RS] introducing argument of his book 'New Science of Life' [NSL] [18.6.1981] (including role of Jeremy Cherfas). [7:32] Story of running competition to seek ideas for testing of RS's theory of 'formative causation' [FM]; related NS meal (with Richard Dawkins and Steven Rose present). Comments on RS' publications since; evidence for telepathy. Brief story of conversation about telepathy with John Maynard Smith [JMS]. Comments on conversation with RS concerning telepathy. [14:07] Comments on own experience of telepathy. [15:52] Discussion of commissioning of article NSL articles and related NS meal; response to this article in letters pages of NS, including contributions of Lewis Wolpert (with comments on role of testability - limited by common sense - in science); difference between LW's view of science as an edifice and own of science as an oil painting or a narrative; modification (painting over) of ideas in evolutionary biology (with, for example, developments in epigenetics); extent to which life might be understood in non-material terms; role of intuition in science. [29:55] Comments on own radio work for 'Science Now' during time at WM/NS. Story of events leading to appointment as presenter for BBC Radio 4 programme 'Science Now' [in 1985]. Comments on experience of radio journalism; successful development of programme with longer episodes - worked on by self - for BBC Radio 3, involving interviews with scientists including JMS, Jane Goodall, Robert May, Martin Rees. Discussion of these interviews, including comments on heuristic value of anthropomorphism. Comments on interview with Patrick Bateson. Comments on interview with Richard Leakey on "bushiness of the evolutionary tree" during period at NS; end to own BBC Radio 3 programme; character of Melvyn Bragg.
Life story interview with science writer Colin Tudge