Tuesday 12 April 2011
Further to yesterday's obituary of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Baruch Blumberg,
Tam Dalyell writes:
In 1990, the undergraduates of the Cerberus Society, an intellectual grouping at Balliol, invited me to be their speaker after dinner in Hall. In that capacity, I was asked to stay the night at the Master's Lodge, where Baruch Blumberg welcomed me for a nightcap. I asked him why he had come to England, given his prestigious position and busy life in the United States. He reeled off four reasons.
First, 35 years previously, Balliol had given him a warm welcome as a foreign postgraduate, "providing me with the confidence, which may come naturally to graduates of Harvard and Yale, but which came less naturally to a young man from the Columbian Presbyterian Medical Centre." Secondly, he had the greatest respect for colleagues in the department of biochemistry at Oxford. Thirdly, he said it was good for a scientist to be transplanted for a five-year period into a totally different environment. He told me that he never forgot his friend Max Perutz recollecting that he could not have achieved what he did had he remained in an Austria spared the Nazi invasion. A comfortable life is not necessarily a recipe for the best work.
Lastly, Blumberg was contemplating a career change from Hepatitis-related issues to astrobiology. Was there a better perch than the Master's Lodge to reflect on and map out "my future"? In doing so Blumberg also gave full value to undergraduates and fellows.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...