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Athene Donald

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 22 March 2009

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the scientist Athene Donald. A Cambridge professor and fellow of the Royal Society, she has dedicated much of her life to studying everyday objects like plastic, food or plants. Her enthusiasm is so strong that, at her daughter's eleventh birthday party, she couldn't resist describing the structure of melting ice-cream - it was a rare case of misjudging her audience.

By her own admission she is a workaholic - but she also champions the cause of women who want to become scientists and have families too. Her great triumph was to marry a supportive husband and after that, she says, the trick is learning how to cut corners: there are no 'dainty dinner parties' at her home, and she makes sure her clothes are machine washable and easy-iron.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: The Dies Irae (from Requiem) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Book: The Lymond Novels by Dorothy Dunnett
Luxury: A bat.

Music Played

8 items
  • Shades Blue Skies

    Barbershop Bonanza, Saydisc

  • Image for Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathétique' - 1st movement

    Soloist: John Lill

    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, ASV

  • Image for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Requiem in D minor - Dies Irae

    Choir: Members of the Choir & Les Arts Florissants Conductor: William Christie

    Mozart Requiem, Erato

  • Image for Paul Hindemith

    Paul Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphoses

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Claudio Abbado

    Hindemith: Mathis der Maler. Violin Concerto, Eloquence

  • Image for Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn String Quartet in D major, Op. 64/5 'The Lark'

    Orchestra: Hagen Quartet

    Haydn: String Quartet, Deutsche Grammophon

  • Image for Enrique Granados

    Enrique Granados Oriental March (from Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles)

    Soloist: Alicia de Larrocha

    Granados: Goyescas, EMI Classics

  • Image for Franz Schubert

    Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 14 in D minor 'Death and the Maiden' - 2nd movement

    Orchestra: The Juilliard String Quartet

    Schubert: String Quartets Nos 12-15, CBS

  • Image for Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Ralph Vaughan Williams Dirge for two veterans (from Dona nobis pacem)

    Soloist: Yvonne Kenny & Bryn Terfel Orchestra: the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra Conductor: Richard Hickox

    Vaughan Williams: Sancta Civitas, EMI

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