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Martin Evans

Kirsty Young's castaway is scientist Martin Evans.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Professor Sir Martin Evans. He is known as the grandfather of embryonic stem-cell research because of the breakthrough he made more than 25 years ago to first isolate the stem cells of mice and then cultivate them in a laboratory. After that leap forward, he worked alongside his fellow Nobel laureates Oliver Smithies and Mario Capecchi to develop the Knock-Out Mouse - a mouse that has had part of its genetic code disabled so the effect on the animal can be studied. The Knock-Out Mouse has become a scientific tool used the world over - and has vastly increased the amount of knowledge we have about how the human body works.

Brought up on the outskirts of London with enthusiastic and encouraging parents, he says that he was always fascinated by science. But, although he was a bright pupil, he was a shy boy and not the kind of student to walk away with glittering prizes.

He was within months of retiring when he got the call, last October, that he had been awarded the greatest honour in science - the Nobel Prize - since then life has been busier than ever and now, he says, he is determined to use his status to try to encourage children to study science, so that they too can be enthused at the miracles of the world around us and the worlds within.

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

Favourite track: Their Sound is Gone Out in All Lands by George Frideric Handel
Book: Largest anthology of poetry possible
Luxury: A microscope, equipment and a stack of notebooks.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 22 Feb 2008 09:00

Music Played

  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor -3rd movement

    Soloist: Lang Lang Orchestra: The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre Conductor: Valery Gergiev

    • Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Tommy Steele

    Singing the Blues

    • British Beat Before the Beatles: Vol 1.
    • EMI.
  • Édith Piaf

    Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

    • Edith Piaf: 25th anniversary Vol 2.
    • Columbia.
  • The Desmonds

    Germans in the Shower

  • Castaway's Favourite

    • George Frideric Handel

      Their sound is gone out (from Messiah)

      Choir: Choir of Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford Orchestra: The Academy of Ancient Music Conductor: Christopher Hogwood

      • Handel: Messiah.
      • Oiseau Lyre.
  • Bryn Terfel

    Land of My Fathers

    Artist: Katherine Jenkins, Aled Jones & the Millennium Stadium Crowd

    • Syddogol ymgyrch wru/nspcc dim mwy.
    • Sain.
  • The Broadway Cast

    Do You Hear the People Sing?

    • Les Miserables: Cast recording.
    • First Night.
  • Rutland Boughton

    How Beautiful They Are, the Lordly Ones

    Soloist: Anne Dawson & Maldwyn Davies Choir: The Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Orchestra: The English Chamber Orchestra Conductor: Alan Melville

    • Rutland Boughton: The Immortal Hour.
    • Hyperion.
  • Book Choice

    • Largest anthology of poetry possible

  • Luxury Choice

    • A microscope, equipment and a stack of notebooks


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Martin Evans


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