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Prof David Phillips

President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Professor David Phillips joins Kirsty Young to choose his Desert Island Discs.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor David Phillips.

His love of science has taken him on an extraordinary journey. At the height of the Cold War, he swapped a post in America for a place at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, where he partied with the Bolshoi and was interrogated by the KGB. He is also Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Imperial College, but, despite his eminence, he admits his students had a 'professor button' fitted onto their hi-tech lasers. It was, he explains, a knob he could twiddle while showing visitors around the lab, but it wasn't connected to the machinery and meant he didn't ruin his students' experiments.

Record: The Marriage of Figaro
Book: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Luxury: A piano with music

Producer: Leanne Buckle.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 6 May 2011 09:00

Music Played

  • Franz Schubert

    String Quintet in C major - 1st movement

    Artist: Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma & Sharon Robinson

    • Schubert: Boccherini: Quintets….
    • Sony Classical.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    The opening of Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

    Artist: The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Neville Marriner

    • Tallis Fantasia.
    • Argo.
  • Mound City Blue Blowers

    Georgia on My Mind

    Composer: Johnny Mercer/ Hoagy Carmichael

    • Sensational Classic Jazz & Blues Re- issues, Vol. 2.
    • Sensation.
  • Tom Lehrer

    The Elements

    Composer: Tom Lehrer – music by Sir Arthur Sullivan

    • An Evening wasted with Tom Lehrer.
    • Reprise.
  • Yuri Shaporin

    The Soldier’s Chorus

    Artist: The Red Army Chorus conducted by Vladimir Alexandrov

    • Soviet Army Chorus & Band.
    • Angel records.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Viene la Sera (Evening is coming). Love duet from the end of Act 1 of Madam Butterfly.

    Artist: Luciano Pavarotti & Mirella Freni with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert Von Karajan

    • Madam Butterfly.
    • Decca.
  • Francisco Tárrega

    Recuerdos de la Alhambra

    Artist: John Williams

    • Spanish Guitar Music.
    • Sony Classical.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      The Marriage of Figaro Finale

      Artist: Ingvar Wizell & Jessye Norman with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

      • Mozart: Marriage of Figaro.
      • Phillips.
  • Book Choice

    • War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

  • Luxury Choice

    • Piano with music


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest David Phillips


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