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Friends and children


Family, friends and work
Freeman Dyson Scientist
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I always say what I told the students the other day at Clarkson University: There are three things in my life which are important, namely family, friendship and work, in that order, and I think that's always been true. So for me work has always been fun, but I've never taken it too seriously.

[Q] And... has it become easier as you grow older to make friendships?

Yes, I think so. Yes, I'm not shy any more. There's a wonderful little book called Period Piece by Gwen Raverat who is a granddaughter of Darwin, about growing up a child in Cambridge, and she ends the book by saying the great thing about growing old is that you don't have to care any more what other people say or think.

[Q] It's easier to be courageous...


Freeman Dyson (1923-2020), who was born in England, moved to Cornell University after graduating from Cambridge University with a BA in Mathematics. He subsequently became a professor and worked on nuclear reactors, solid state physics, ferromagnetism, astrophysics and biology. He published several books and, among other honours, was awarded the Heineman Prize and the Royal Society's Hughes Medal.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Clarkson University, Period Piece, Charles Darwin, Gwen Raverat

Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1998

Date story went live: 24 January 2008