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My Museum ‘Aha Moment’

Bryan Sykes on how he became enthralled with nature and natural history. 

My mother used to take me and my brother along to the grand museums at least once every holiday and I loved them, particularly the Natural History Museum.  Everyone loves those dinosaurs.  So that is how I started off. 

Funny enough, that is how I got turned onto genetics at a very young age. I’ve always loved nature and natural history and I was very interested in butterflies and there were a lot more butterflies when I was a child flying around in Britain than there are now and I got a book out of the local library, which was about butterflies, but actually it turned out to be about genetics really and it was written by a very famous, as I later discovered, a very famous geneticists who specialized in butterflies for his work.

I thought “this is really wonderful!” and it was from that moment when I was about 12 years-old that I thought I really wanted to be a professor of genetics.  

No, forget the ballet dancer, forget the train driver.  This is really what I wanted to do and that’s how it has turned out. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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