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No interest at all in maths or physics
Jeremy Bernstein Scientist
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I was good at mathematics but I had no interest. I didn't think it was a serious subject. I couldn't imagine anybody would do it for a career or there was any creativity in it. I had a very poor physics course. I don't blame the man. I wrote an autobiographical sketch which appeared in The New Yorker many years later and I said that he had been a displayer in some sort of store and so on, and I didn't say it too nicely. And he wrote me a letter. I was terribly embarrassed by it. I felt that I really had hurt his feelings and I shouldn't have done. I felt badly. But it was not a good course, and I did not like physics at all.

Born in 1929, Jeremy Bernstein is an American physicist, educator and writer known for the clarity of his writing for the lay reader on the major issues of modern physics. After graduating from Harvard University, Bernstein worked at Harvard and at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton. In 1962 he became an Associate Professor of Physics at New York University, and later a Professor of Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, a position he continues to hold. He was also on the staff of The New Yorker magazine.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: The New Yorker

Duration: 50 seconds

Date story recorded: 15th June 2011

Date story went live: 17 August 2011