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Web of Stories offers you the chance to listen to some of the greatest people of our time telling their life stories.
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The end of the war

Marek Edelman

Social activist

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Is my kind of biology ‘dead wood’?

John Bonner - Scientist

I think basically, I'm an 18th century biologist, 19th, maybe 19th – 19th, coming up one. And I find myself thinking, it got to be 20th and 21st century biology after me. And there are lots and lots of wonderful things one can do with 19th century biology, and still can do, even though molecular methods are fantastic, but however, one can meld the molecular techniques with the old-fashioned ones. And I think it's a mistake to just throw away all the old ones because of the fact that for the most part, they are guiding, still, where to look for different kinds of molecules and molecular interactions. You know, when molecular biology first became the thing in places like Princeton and Harvard, there was this tremendous struggle between the molecular biologists who were saying, okay, now we'll take over. We'll do everything, you can go home. And it's, to me, fascinating, the fact that they actually believed that; my kind of biology was dead wood. And they wouldn't even pay attention to anybody who was working with evolution or something of that sort. It was dead wood. But now, we've come back completely to a middle, sensible road, where everything can give you information that you need.

Marvin Minsky - Scientist
John Wheeler - Scientist
George Daniels - Master watchmaker