Growing Up Saturated With Science

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 gard

Naomi Mitchison
Dec 13, 1987

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...

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