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Family background: Napoleonic beginnings


A rather ordinary person
Christian de Duve Scientist
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To tell you the truth, I'm... I'm rather embarrassed by this whole exercise, I thought it would be fun and then somehow, as the date neared, I got more and more uncomfortable. It's not that I... I'm not a modest person by any means, but... it seems to me that I'm not the kind of person that people want to know about, you know, I'm not a genius, I didn't invent relativity, or discover relativity, I didn't discover the double helix, I'm not a colourful personality like Francis Crick or Jim Watson... or Richard Feynman and so on. So, I'm just a rather ordinary person with a slightly out of ordinary experience.

Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve (1917-2013) was best known for his work on understanding and categorising subcellular organelles. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for his joint discovery of lysosomes, the subcellular organelles that digest macromolecules and deal with ingested bacteria.

Listeners: Peter Newmark

Peter Newmark has recently retired as Editorial Director of BioMed Central Ltd, the Open Access journal publisher. He obtained a D. Phil. from Oxford University and was originally a research biochemist at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School in London, but left research to become Biology Editor and then Deputy Editor of the journal Nature. He then became Managing Director of Current Biology Ltd, where he started a series of Current Opinion journals, and was founding Editor of the journal Current Biology. Subsequently he was Editorial Director for Elsevier Science London, before joining BioMed Central Ltd.

Tags: Francis Crick, Jim Watson, Richard Feynman

Duration: 50 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008