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Fiona at school


Offers of work
Renato Dulbecco Scientist
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Then subsequently, naturally, things changed, because I returned to London and from London it was immediately...

[Q] So from Glasgow you returned to London?

No, no, from Stockholm we returned to London and there I was pestered, let's say, with offers of all types, which came particularly from the United States. I remember that there was... I don't remember the names... there at 'La Jolla', no, in Los Angeles there was an entrepreneur who was the head of Occidental Petroleum, as it was called... So, this was someone who was always a little interested in science, findings, etc., but I'd say that this interest was less to do with science and more to do with appearances, public opinion, so he, his idea... as he had known me for some time already, he wanted absolutely that we work together on something and so he called me one day... It wasn't him that called, but he got someone from the institute to call, and said, 'Oh, this meeting... we want you to come here' and I said, 'Well, look I have... my daughter goes to school here, I can't leave', etc. 'Oh', he said, 'Don't worry, bring your daughter'. 'Well', I said, 'My daughter, yes, but...' He said, 'Oh, bring the person that looks after her, too'.

[Q] Oh, yes, the nurse.

The nurse. 'Bring the nurse', like that. And then there was something else that amazed me, that he, whatever I said, he would say, 'Bring her', in fact I could have brought...

[Q] It wasn't a problem, so long as you came.

As long as I came and in fact, then, in the end, I went because I couldn't resist any longer. And then the other thing was that...

[Q] But what was the offer?

To take part in this meeting. The most important thing that happened is that the people at Salk Institute decided that they wanted me back and so I returned.

Poi successivamente, naturalmente, le cose son cambiate, perché io sono ritornato a Londra e da Londra è stato immediatamente...

[Q] Cioè da Glasgow torni a Londra?

No, no, da Stoccolma siamo ritornati a Londra e lì sono stato perseguitato, diciamo così, da offerte di tutti i tipi, che venivano specialmente dagli Stati Uniti. Mi ricordo che c'era i nomi io non me li ricordo... lì a 'La Jolla', no a Los Angeles c'era allora un imprenditore che era il capo dell'Occidental Petroleum, che si chiamava, insomma... Questa era una persona sempre interessata un po' della scienza, dei risultati, ecc, ma non era un interesse, direi, veramente di scienza, era più che altro un interesse, così, di apparenze, di opinione pubblica, insomma perciò lui, questa idea... siccome lui conosceva me già da tempo, voleva assolutamente che io facessi qualcosa con lui e allora mi telefona un giorno... non era lui che ha telefonato, ma faceva telefonare da uno dell'istituto, e dice, 'Ah, questa riunione vorremmo che lei venisse qui e io dico, 'Oh, ma guardi, io ho qui... mia figlia va a scuola, non posso lasciare questo', ecc. 'Ah', dice, 'Non fa niente, porti la bambina'. 'Beh', dico, 'La bambina sì', ma dice, 'Ah, porti, quella persona che si tiene'.

[Q] Ah, sì, la nurse.

La nurse. Porti la nurse, così. E poi c'era un'altra cosa che mi ha stupito, insomma che lui, qualunque cosa dicevo, diceva, 'Portala', insomma avrei potuto portare...

[Q] Non è un problema, purché tu arrivassi.

Purché io arrivassi e infatti poi, alla fine, sono andato, perché non potevo resistere più. E poi l'altra cosa è stata che...

[Q] Ma la proposta qual'era?

Di partecipare a questa riunione, insomma. La cosa più importante che è successa è che la gente al Salk Institute hanno deciso che mi volevano indietro, che dovevo ritornare indietro e così sono ritornato.

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: Occidental Petroleum

Duration: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008