Interview: Robert Winston on his favourite book, writing, and why we’re all scientists

Interview: Robert Winston on his favourite book, writing, and why we’re all scientists
Robert Winston is a scientist, medical doctor, author, politician, television presenter and currently Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London.

Abigail Jaggers went along to Imperial College to talk to Robert about his varied career, the book he might write next, and passing on science to the next generation.

On why we’re all scientists whether we like it or not:

“You shouldn’t forget that a six month old child is a scientist.”


On the importance of practical science:

“Doing practical science is […] probably the best way of getting most children engaged with scientific work.”


On the difference between writing scientific papers and popular science books:

“I don’t really approve of the exaggerated language: to say something is ‘incredible’ seems to me to be a bit ridiculous.”


On the importance of science literacy in our society:

“It’s vital that everybody has the sense to take wise decisions about how to use science, because science can be for the good or for the bad.”


On the many strings to his bow:

“I still have some research going on at Imperial College looking at sperm development.”


On the intriguing book he might write next:

“You’ve got to be dead to write a memoir, or if not dead, at least untruthful.”


On his favourite book:

“It’s one of the best books in the English language – I’ve got a first edition copy of it.”


Thanks to Robert Winston for speaking to us.

Listening Members can borrow various books by Robert Winston from our library, including Evolution, RevolutionIt’s Elementary! Putting the crackle into chemistry; That’s Life; and What makes me me?

If you’d like to find out more about Robert Winston or any of his current projects you can go to his website here.


This post was written by Holly Newson

Picture credit: Murray Sanders/Daily Mail

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