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Sydney Brenner, 2002-06-10

 Item — Box: AV05, Hi8: CSHL1222
Oral History | Sydney Brenner
Oral History | Sydney Brenner

Scope and Contents

Sydney Brenner talks about women in science and many of the past directors of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Sydney Brenner discusses the following in his interview: LIFE IN SCIENCE: Women in Science: Admitting Women to Cambridge University, Women in Science: American Sensitivity to Gender Equity,

JAMES D. WATSON: Jim Watson, “Lucky Jim”, Alfred Hershey, Jim Watson, John Cairns and Joe Sambrook, Milislav Demerec, Jim Watson - Discovering the Double Helix The DNA Discovery in Context: Achieving Greatness, Impressions of Jim Watson, Jim Watson: Traveling the U.S.A, Jim Watson as a Writer: The Double Helix and Molecular Biology of the Gene.

CSHL: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Making Connections, Pioneering the Field of Molecular Biology, John Cairns, Rich Roberts, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: A Center for Science, Cold Spring Harbor Symposia Today, Participation at Cold Spring Harbor Symposia, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: The Future.


  • Creation: 2002-06-10


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Sydney Brenner (born January 13, 1927, South Africa-died April 5, 2019, Singapore) was a pioneer in the field of molecular biology. He received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1954. From 1979 to 1986 he served as Director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Biology and from 1986 to 1991, as the Director of the Medical Research Council Laboratory Molecular Genetics Unit, both in Cambridge, England.

He was the President and Director of Science at the Molecular Sciences Institute in La Jolla and Berkeley. Brenner was honored as a Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute in La Jolla in 2000.

In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with Dr. John Sulston and Dr. Robert Horvitz “for their discoveries concerning ‘genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death’” studying the organism C. elegans.

He was associated with the Salk Institute, the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, the Singapore Biomedical Research Council, the Janelia Farm Research Campus and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with Sydney Brenner) : DVD

1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : Hi-8 - CSHL1222

2 Cassettes (Unknown if these are working copies of the camcorder footage or are independent recordings.) : VHS - 2045 (2002-07-18), 2045E (2002-07-17)

3 VHS : BRENNER_SYDNEY_2002_01 [1:01:01] Interview by Mila Pollock; discusses Jim Watson, Hinselwood, Demerec, Carnegie Corporation Fellowship; 1954 Phage Course; Bob Edgar; Phage; Seymour Benzer; Gunther Stent; cross-country trip with JDW; Boris Ephrussi; Vernon Ingraham; UC Berkleley; Protoplasts; Francis Crick; BRENNER_SYDNEY_2002_02 [0:57:15] Edited and titled interview; "CSHL Making Connections"; "The Significance of the Double Helix"; The DNA Discovery in Context, How to Achieve Greatness"; "CSHL Symposia" ; Women in Science American Sensitivity to Gender Equity"; " John Cairns and Joe Sambrook"; "CSHL Scientists'; Milislav Demerec CSHL Director"; "Al Hershey"; BRENNER_SYDNEY_2002_03 [0:56:37] Edited and titled interview: "CSHL Making Connections"; Jim Watson My Impressions"; Jim Watson as a Writer: The Double Helix, The Molecular Biology of the Gene"; "The DNA Discovery in Context: How To Achieve Greatness"; "CSHL: A Center for Science"; "CSHL Symposia"; "Women in Science"; "Milislav Demerec: CSHL Director"; "John Cairns and Joe Sambrook"; "Rich Roberts"; "CSHL The Future"

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English