U my life I have been on the edges of science. At the start of the century, my father, J.S. Haldane, deeply engaged in the problem of alveolar air, probably didn’t notice that I was having fun on the lab floor, playing with blobs of mercury and occasionally licking them. I knew even then that science was important; and I was very proud of having small blood samples taken for some purpose. Later my brother, J.B.S. Haldane, and I discovered chemistry and made splendid volcanoes in the garden.

As I grew older I took to field botany in the Oxford meadows then so beautiful with fritiflaries and cowslips. As a teenager I tried eating anything that looked edible, avoiding those plants I knew were poisonous but occasionally meeting a little unpleasantness, for plants are quite good at defending themselves, whether from cows or budding pharmacologists.

During all my young days...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?