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Lisa Jardine

Professor Lisa Jardine, academic, biographer and public thinker, is interviewed by Kirsty Young.

Professor Lisa Jardine, academic, biographer and public thinker, is interviewed by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs.

Historian, biographer, public thinker, mathematician - her proclivities are wide ranging and well regarded with prize winning books on subjects as diverse as Sir Christopher Wren, Seventeenth century Holland, Erasmus and women in the time of Shakespeare.

Her current day job is leading the Department of Renaissance Studies at University College London, she's also a prolific writer and broadcaster. If that all seems a little ivory tower for your tastes think again; as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for many years she was at the sharp end of the complex conundrums and high emotion that surround the artificial creation of life, leading the world in developing the legal framework that governs IVF treatment.

Her rigour and originality, then, are greatly admired and both seem to have been in evidence since the beginning - her schoolgirl contemporaries had pictures of Elvis by their beds. Lisa had other ideas, as a teenager she gazed lovingly at a photo of a brilliant mathematician.

She says: "I only do things I love, and I love everything I do ..."

Producer: Sarah Taylor.

Available now

38 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Jun 2015 09:00

Music Played


    • Annie Lennox


      • Diva.
      • RCA music.
  • Edward Elgar

    Cello Concerto in E Minor

    Performer: Jacqueline du Pré. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra. Performer: John Barbirolli.
    • A Lasting Inspiration..
    • EMI.
  • Kurt Weill

    Mack the Knife

    Performer: Lotte Lenya. Performer: Turk Murphy.
    • American Theatre Songs.
  • Jules Massenet

    Bedroom duet from Act 1 of the ballet Manon

    Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Performer: Richard Bonynge.
    • Manon – complete ballet.
    • Decca.
  • Bob Dylan

    A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

    • The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.
    • Sony.
  • Talking Heads

    Once in a Lifetime

    • Once In a Lifetime: The Best Of Talking Heads.
    • Warner music.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Dove Sono from the Marriage of Figaro

    Performer: Dorothea Röschmann. Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
    • Marriage of Figaro.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Juliette Gréco

    Si Tu T'imagines

    • Juliette Greco: 16 songs.
    • Polygram.

    The full 12 volumes of P.S Allen’s Latin Letters of Erasmus of Rotterdam


    Cooking utensils


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Lisa Jardine
Producer Sarah Taylor


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