My father was a mediaeval historian, and I grew up in Oxford...
I was born in 1943. Sugar was rationed for the first 10 years of my life. No surprise, then, that I was prejudiced in favour of the USA by the kind gifts of chocolates at Christmas from American friends of my parents. I was eager to explore the New World, and the chance came while I was a graduate student in my second year; I went and worked at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx for about four months. It was a marvellous experience, and I returned home with lots of fresh ideas.
By contrast, American views of Europe - the Old World — are apt to emphasise the traditional backward-looking, perhaps even corrupt, class-ridden and decadent life of lascivious ease. No doubt there are corners where this may have a residue of truth, but for the most part you will find a fine and productive science and technology base as well as a thriving cultural environment.
Here’s the Airbus assembly plant in Toulouse and one of the Mercedes factories in Germany
And at CERN in Geneva, the massive Large Hadron Collider, a triumph of pure science and applied engineering.
...so I went to Cambridge to learn how to become a proper scientist, a biochemist.
I used to walk to work via this short-cut through the old Cavendish Laboratory
And sometimes depressed, sometimes inspired at the thought of the great discoveries that had been made in these very buildings
Working Abroad Tim Hunt, Cancer Research UK (Member of the ERC Scientific Council)
The Electron The Proton The Neutron Splitting the Atom The Structure of DNA The Structure of Hemoglobin
The Old Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1961) “ Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, creating a lively international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation”
Sydney Brenner, Cesar Milstein, Aaron Klug, John Walker, Bob Horvitz, John Sulston, Andy Fire, Marty Chalfie, Roger Kornberg, Roger Tsien, Venki Ramakrishnan Fred Sanger Max Perutz Francis Crick Jim Watson Pioneers from All Over the World They did the impossible.
Travel Broadens the Mind Travel Broadens the Mind Mel Cohn Lou Siminovitch Art Pardee Gunter Stent Herschel Roman Dale Kaiser David Hogness Bernie Horecker Jon Beckwith Americans Abroad: The Pasteur Institute in the 1950s and early 60s
“ The job [at the EMBL, Heidelberg] was an extraordinary opportunity, one that I regret is not given to more young scientists at the beginning of their careers…… Those years were probably the most exciting, intellectually stimulating ones of my entire scientific career.” Eric Wieschaus