Paul Nurse on class

Melvyn Bragg did his best to carry his charms from BC Radio 4 to the other medium, the TV, and for the most part, he succeeded. When the program started (must be in UK to watch), I was apprehensive, thinking that I will be offered the same images from the BBC archives, documenting how UK moved from food rations to decency up to the late sixties, and back to inequality and insecurity ever since. Indeed, there are many cliches, such as the Queen’s coronation, which is by now more worn out than the Geico ads.

One extraordinary appearance makes up for all that. Paul Nurse, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the enzymatic mechanisms of cell division, points out that the science field is up for grabs for lower classes. He says he did not go to the opera, did not go to the theatre, so he never considered an arts career. On the other hand, science was open for all. It did not matter what your class was. It was a more leveled field. Maybe that is what he felt during the late sixties, when he was in school.

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