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The Army camps


Forming a territorial army
Sydney Brenner Scientist
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I should also say that I also spent… I was also in the army at this time. In fact, what had happened was, as part of the war effort, the university students and the medical students had formed something that was a… like the territorial army – that is, a kind of weekend army – as part of this, and in fact there was the… the whole of the Johannesburg Medical School had formed a field ambulance. I think it was called the 25th Field Ambulance, and in fact there were two full-time soldiers that actually occupied offices in the medical school, and the head of the ambulance was Professor Dart, who had the rank of colonel and then all the other lecturers in the medical school had different ranks. In fact, a very old friend of mine, John Robinson, who was a medical student a little bit ahead of me; he was very famous as the man who broke down when we went on our annual three week camp and was sent home in… in tears.

South African Sydney Brenner (1927-2019) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2002. His joint discovery of messenger RNA, and, in more recent years, his development of gene cloning, sequencing and manipulation techniques along with his work for the Human Genome Project have led to his standing as a pioneer in the field of genetics and molecular biology.

Listeners: Lewis Wolpert

Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London. His research interests are in the mechanisms involved in the development of the embryo. He was originally trained as a civil engineer in South Africa but changed to research in cell biology at King's College, London in 1955. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980 and awarded the CBE in 1990. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. He has presented science on both radio and TV and for five years was Chairman of the Committee for the Public Understanding of Science.



Listen to Lewis Wolpert at Web of Stories



Tags: Johannesburg Medical School, Raymond Dart

Duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: April-May 1994

Date story went live: 24 January 2008