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Stumbling upon cell death


Doing experiments inspires me
Martin Raff Scientist
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I now don’t do experiments. I haven’t done an experiment in a year and in the few years before that I was doing relatively few experiments. But up until I guess five, six, seven years ago I was doing a lot of experiments and I enjoyed doing experiments, partly because doing the experiments is actually a very good way of thinking about what you’re doing. I… I think best really when I’m doing it, or talking to somebody and bouncing ideas around. I don’t think that well under a tree, or in a bathtub, or waiting for a bus. I think better when talking to somebody, or doing experiments was actually a great stimulator of thinking for me.

So I… I actually liked doing the experiments and I liked thinking about them while I’m doing them, and you’re sort of closer to what you’re doing so I liked that. But now I actually, rarely get a chance to do experiments because in order to do experiments usefully it can’t be interrupted, you have to be able to spend weeks at a time, and since I travel so much I’m not here for more than a week or two at any one stretch, so it’s very hard. That’s why I don’t do it.

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. Recently retired from his professorship at University College, London, these stories were recorded in 2000.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Duration: 1 minute, 14 seconds

Date story recorded: 2000

Date story went live: 13 July 2010