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June Goodfield

June Goodfield is the author of An Imagined World, a biography of the cancer researcher Anna Brito.

Medawartime

June Goodfield, 6 November 1986

My first encounter with Peter Medawar revealed something about us both. When he was the new Mason Professor of Zoology in the University of Birmingham I was a student at University College, Nottingham, and one of my tasks as president of the student Zoological Society was to give votes of thanks to visiting speakers. So when I learned that one Dr Peter Medawar would be speaking on the subject of individuality in animals, I sat down and carefully prepared a short speech which I proposed to deliver with every appearance of total spontaneity. Fortunately for my vote of thanks, part of the previous term had been spent studying animals such as sea anemones and sponges which merge into colonies, where the issue of who, or what, was really the individual was both entertaining and, we were assured, significant.

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