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Fiona growing up


Birth in the family
Renato Dulbecco Scientist
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Dunque, a questo punto, c'è stato un problema nella nostra famiglia, perché abbiamo avuto una figlia, che noi, Maureen ed io eravamo sposati da parecchi anni, ma non avevamo avuto nessun figlio, perché non lo volevamo e poi, a un certo punto, Maureen a un certo punto ha deciso che valeva la pena avere un figlio e l'abbiamo fatto... di avere un figlio e questo figlio era Fiona. Ora Fiona nasce nel 1970, alla fine di dicembre e, dopo che tutte queste cose sono avvenute... e dopo poi lei naturalmente prende molta della mia attenzione, per cui insomma tutti quanti eravamo concentrati...

[Q] Sulla bambina...

E il lavoro del laboratorio era messo in secondo piano, perché c'era questa bambina. Mi ricordo, alla sera, bisognava cullarla un po' perché si mettesse a dormire... era brava però. Al mattino, io mi alzavo quando era già di pochi mesi, mangiava cibo normale... facevo delle uova...

[Q] 'Scrambled eggs'.

Come si dice in italiano?

[Q] Strapazzate.

Strapazzate, uova strapazzate. E lei mangiava le uova strapazzate...

[Q] Eri tu che le preparavi?

Certe cose, sì, poi naturalmente... Con tutto questo, dico appunto, l'attenzione era concentrata su quello.

So, at this point, there was a problem in our family, because we had had a daughter. Maureen and I were married for a few years, but we hadn't had any children, because we didn't want them and then, at a certain point, Maureen decided that it would be nice to have a child and so we did... we had a child and this child was Fiona. Now Fiona was born in 1970, at the end of December and, after all these things happened... and then afterwards naturally she took up a lot of my attention, so we were all concentrating on...

[Q] On the girl.

And lab work took second place, because there was this little girl. I remember, in the evening, we had to rock her a little so that she would sleep... she was good though. In the morning, I'd get up when she was already a few months old, she was eating normal food. I would make scrambled eggs... how do you say that in Italian?

[Q] Strapazzate.

Strapazzate, uova strapazzate. And she would eat these scrambled eggs.

[Q] And it was you that cooked?

Sometimes, yes, of course. With all this, the attention was focused on that.

The Italian biologist Renato Dulbecco (1914-2012) had early success isolating a mutant of the polio virus which was used to create a life-saving vaccine. Later in his career, he initiated the Human Genome Project and was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975 for furthering our understanding of cancer caused by viruses.

Listeners: Paola De Paoli Marchetti

Paola De Paoli Marchetti is a science journalist who graduated with an honours degree in foreign languages and literature from the University Ca’Foscari, Venice. She has been a science journalist since the 1960s and has been on the staff of the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore since 1970. She was elected president of UGIS (Italian Association of Science Journalists) in 1984. She has been a Member of the Board of EUSJA (European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations, Strasbourg), and was its president in 1987-1988 and 1998-2000. In May 2000 she was unanimously elected president emeritus. She was a member of the National Council of Italian Journalists (1992-1998). From 2002 to 2004 she was member of the working group for scientific communication of the National Committee for Biotechnology. She has also been a consultant at the Italian Ministry of Research and Technology and editor-in-chief of the publication MRST, policy of science and technology. She has co-authored many publications in the field of scientific information, including Le biotecnologie in Italia, Le piste della ricerca and Luna vent’anni dopo.

Tags: daughter, birth, family

Duration: 1 minute, 37 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008