A Noble Prize Winner’s Poor School Report

I think this is a very interesting topic I want to share in this blog. What will you think of someone who was awarded the Nobel Prize? The immediate assumption when we hear someone who has won the Nobel Prize is that he must be a brilliant and hard-working individual.

But in this case is totally different. A Cambridge scientist Sir John Gurdon, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year, had a poor science report when at school. John B. Gurdon is a British development biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells in 2012, along with Shinya Yamanaka. His school science report began with the word ‘Disastrous’ and the teacher even questioned about his dream of becoming a scientist.

‘I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist,’ his biology teacher wrote. ‘On his present showing this is quite ridiculous; if he can’t learn simple biological facts he would have no chance of doing the work of a specialist, and it would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part, and of those who have to teach him.’

This must be a lesson for teachers today!

School report for Nobel prize winner Dr John Gurdon from his days studying Biology at Eton College in 1949


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