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JBS Haldane: the Thetis disaster and experimenting on himself


James Rendel
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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James Rendell had been his research student. They had- they'd been doing experimental speciation with Drosophila in cages, and Jim, of course, was taken up in the war effort, and at that time he was working for Waddington in Coastal Command, and they were doing what used to be- what was then called Operational Research, that was the fashionable term. Jim said, well, what their achievement was building a schedule of flying Hudson reconnaissance airplanes over the North Atlantic, which would optimally catch U-boats. I think they had a bomb or two with them too for hitting the U-boats. So I- Although Jim was in Operational Research for the war, I used to trundle out to his house in Pinner, which was a long way in those days on the Underground, and he would tell me about the wonderful world of genetics and about genetics. And by the time I left, I knew more genetics, I'm sure, than anybody except one or two specialists in Oxford.

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, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008