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
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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."