Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Spot of Culture: Tim Hunt loves...

Scientists who are changing the way we understand the world tell CultureLab their favourite places to seek inspiration and reflect.

Of all of the cultural spaces the world over, for Tim Hunt one art museum stands apart: Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain. "I was just bowled over when I first went there," he says. When he first wandered into the room of Diego Velázquez paintings, he says "there were tears welling up in my eyes". Closer to home, Hunt adores the "wonderful, jiggledy jaggedly, higgledy-piggledy" collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford - notably home to an assortment of shrunken heads. He also recalls how, as a teenager, he worked in the entomology department at the nearby Oxford University Museum of Natural History. It proved a "very good introduction for a young scientist", he says - even if, on occasion, he would let a few locusts loose to see how far they could fly across the museum.

Tim Hunt is a Nobel prizewinning biochemist

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