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Athene Donald

Kirsty Young's castaway is scientist Athene Donald.

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.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 27 Mar 2009 09:00

Music Played

  • Shades

    Blue Skies

    • Barbershop Bonanza.
    • Saydisc.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

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

    Soloist: John Lill

    • Beethoven: Piano Sonatas.
    • ASV.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Requiem in D minor - Dies Irae

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

      • Mozart Requiem.
      • Erato.
  • Paul Hindemith

    Symphonic Metamorphoses

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Claudio Abbado

    • Hindemith: Mathis der Maler. Violin Concerto.
    • Eloquence.
  • Joseph Haydn

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

    Orchestra: Hagen Quartet

    • Haydn: String Quartet.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Enrique Granados

    Oriental March (from Piezas sobre cantos populares españoles)

    Soloist: Alicia de Larrocha

    • Granados: Goyescas.
    • EMI Classics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Book Choice

    • The Lymond Novels - Dorothy Dunnett

  • Luxury Choice

    • A bath


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Athene Donald


  • Sun 22 Mar 2009 11:15
  • Fri 27 Mar 2009 09:00

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