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Lack of new members in the Royal Society


Honours and prizes
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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I used to be rather, you know, sort of ultra democratic and rather against honours and prizes and things, but I now think that they're terrific. The reason that they're terrific is that the public and the media and perhaps ordinary people too, other people too- just citizens in their every day life, need heroes, they need figures- or heroines- figures who they can admire and respect and whose opinions they'll listen to. And I think that the- the various honour systems, from Nobel Prize down, serves to identify a group of people who are to be trusted and relied on and so on and so forth and whose opinions are worth hearing and are expected to respond to the press. So I think they serve a useful purpose.

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: 59 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010