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Contemplating life’s imponderables


Enjoying life
Eric Kandel Scientist
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I'm in a very privileged phase of my life. I'm really enjoying things quite a bit. We've moved to a wonderful [Columbia] apartment in Manhattan that the President of Columbia made available to us. And our kids are doing well. And we're continuing to work so I'd like to continue to work. I'm working on another book, Radical Reductionism in Art and Science. I enjoy the Charlie Rose series, and I enjoy the science we're doing. I think the key thing is to be physically active. So I try to swim many days in the week. We go for walks on the weekend in Riverside Park. We eat sensibly, we have a very good diet. And to enjoy life and to enjoy each other. There's no magic formula. I mean, you know, people can have a meaningful life in lots of different ways.

Eric Kandel (b. 1929) is an American neuropsychiatrist. He was a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons. He shared the prize with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard. Kandel, who had studied psychoanalysis, wanted to understand how memory works. His mentor, Harry Grundfest, said, 'If you want to understand the brain you're going to have to take a reductionist approach, one cell at a time.' Kandel then studied the neural system of the sea slug Aplysia californica, which has large nerve cells amenable to experimental manipulation and is a member of the simplest group of animals known to be capable of learning. Kandel is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He is also Senior Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, which is now the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University. Kandel's popularized account chronicling his life and research, 'In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind', was awarded the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Award for Science and Technology.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: contentment, work, physical activity

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2015

Date story went live: 04 May 2016