Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 16
Society & Culture 97

Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island


Athene Donald

March 22nd, 2009

Episode 42 of 567 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the scientist Athene Donald. A Cambridge professor and fellow of the Royal Society, she has dedicated much of her life to studying everyday objects like plastic, food or plants. Her enthusiasm is so strong that, at her daughter's eleventh birthday party, she couldn't resist describing the structure of melting ice-cream - it was a rare case of misjudging her audience. By her own admission she is a workaholic - but she also champions the cause of women who want to become scientists and have families too. Her great triumph was to marry a supportive husband and after that, she says, the trick is learning how to cut corners: there are no 'dainty dinner parties' at her home, and she makes sure her clothes are machine washable and easy-iron. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: The Dies Irae (from Requiem) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Book: The Lymond Novels by Dorothy Dunnett Luxury: A bat.

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