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JBS Haldane


Mother and father's friends
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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My mum was- from my standpoint, not necessarily from my sisters' standpoint, but from my standpoint, she was a wonderful mother. She was always encouraging and she clearly wanted her children to do something worthwhile in the world, and she made that absolutely clear. But through her, through their house, moved a train of, in the 1930s, writers and artists. Wystan Auden, W H. Auden, taught my oldest brother for a while when he needed a job. Wyndam Lewis, the very distinguished painter, was a pretty good family friend, and for a rather unsuccessful time, when I must have been pretty young, I think, like 10 or 12, he tried to teach me to draw. I used to be left in his studio. And there were a load of other interesting people. Then after the war, when the Labour Government began, it was even more exciting at home in a way, because there were all these politicians. And, politicians are a wonderfully communicative people, that's their job, and it was marvellous to be the sort of junior son of the house in Scotland, and take them up onto the moors or explain to them this and that, how to shoot a hare or something like that.

Avrion Mitchison, the British zoologist, is currently Professor Emeritus at University College London and is best known for his work demonstrating the role of lymphocytes in tumour rejection and for the separate and cooperative roles of T- and B-lymphocytes in this and other processes.

Listeners: Martin Raff

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Duration: 1 minute, 47 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008