Education: Must try harder!
Nobel Prize-winner Sir John Gurdon didn't impress his teachers. He's not the only success story with a shocker of a report card, as Tim Walker discovers
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Wednesday 10 October 2012
The Eton schoolmasters who taught Professor Sir John Gurdon, this year's winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology, didn't expect him to pursue a career in science. And why would they?
At 15, Gurdon came last in biology out of all 250 boys in his year group. Ten years later, as a zoology postgraduate at Oxford, he cloned a frog. Now 79, he shares the £750,000 prize with stem-cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka.
Gurdon has revealed that he still keeps a school report framed above his desk reading: "I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist. On his present showing this is quite ridiculous… and it would be a sheer waste of time."
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