• Question: Have you ever thought of having a different hobby or job

    Asked by kylerco to Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Aneurin Bevan, Beatrice Shilling, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Edwards and Steptoe, Elizabeth GarrettAnderson, Francis Crick, Frederick Sanger, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, G. H. Hardy, John Snow, Mary Anning, Mary Somerville, Nicholas Shackleton, Peter Medawar, Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Telford on 27 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Nicholas Shackleton

      Nicholas Shackleton answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      I was a classical music enthusiast and owned historical music collections. I really enjoyed playing the clarinet too.

    • Photo: Peter Medawar

      Peter Medawar answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      Hello, Kylerco, I had lots of hobbies, some of which, like philosophy I partly did as a job through my writing and lectures, but others, like cricket and going to the opera I was never good enough at to pursue any kind of career, but bought me enormous enjoyment and gave me somewhere to escape when I was stuck on difficult scientific problems.

    • Photo: Rosalind Franklin

      Rosalind Franklin answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      I never really thought of having a different job: I was fascinated by science from an early age and my whole career was focused on physical chemistry in general and applications of X-ray crystallography specifically.
      This doesn’t mean that I had no hobbies! I loved hiking and trekking, especially in France. I lived in France for a few years and really enjoyed it.

    • Photo: Mary Somerville

      Mary Somerville answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      As a child, I used to read a lot. I went to school for a year, where I learnt a bit of French. I found lots of things interesting.
      Being a girl, I wasn’t allowed to learn things that I ended up working in, I learnt Latin, maths, science and more on my own, until after my first husband died, when I had friends who helped me. I was fascinated by maths and astronomy and that was always my favourite hobby.

      I used to get told off as a girl for being interested in astronomy, it’s a boys’ subject apparently. I also got told off for not being better at the things I was supposed to be doing: embroidery, sewing, playing music, making appropriate conversation…

    • Photo: Godfrey Harold Hardy

      Godfrey Harold Hardy answered on 27 Nov 2018: last edited 27 Nov 2018 5:22 pm


      As a young boy at Winchester I was good at football, tennis, gymnastics, and I was also a competent rock climber. But since I moved to Cambridge cricket became my true second love beside mathematics. Cricket is a game of grace and order, which allow me to find formal beauty in it (and I believe that my mathematics had these same aesthetic qualities!). Participating in the game has given me so much pleasure and satisfaction that proving the Riemann hypothesis would be the only thing I would wish for more than to make a brilliant play in a crucial cricket match! The famous economist John Maynard Keynes once lamented that had I devoted as much time and focus to stock exchange quotations as to cricket, I would have become a far richer man…

      My love for the sport has gone through one difficult moment though. When my younger sister Gertrude and I were children, she lost an eye when I accidentally hit her with a cricket bat and had to resort to a glass eye for the rest of her life. Fortunately, this wonderful woman has forgiven me for that mistake.

    • Photo: Stephen Hawking

      Stephen Hawking answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      Before I was diagnosed with ALS I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life.

      After the diagnosis I became very aware I didn’t have much time left, to make the most of my time I focused on my PhD and then my Career. I doubt I would have done much else after finding out about ALS.

      One of my big hobbies was working with computers. I think if I didn’t do maths and physics, I would have probably worked in computer theory.

    • Photo: John Snow

      John Snow answered on 27 Nov 2018:


      Not so much a hobby but I did like to encourage people to follow a healthy lifestyle. I often spoke of the benefits of being vegetarian and alcohol-free

    • Photo: Francis Crick

      Francis Crick answered on 28 Nov 2018:


      I started off by completing my degree in physics and during the world war I worked in a lab making mines for war use. I then later changed to become a molecular biologist and this us when I join research of the DNA structure and working out the central dogma. I then later went on to try learn more about the brain and consciousness.

    • Photo: Dorothy Hodgkin

      Dorothy Hodgkin answered on 28 Nov 2018:


      When I wasn’t doing my science, I guess you’d say my political campaigning was a bit of a hobby – campaigning against war (in particular nuclear war) and against social inequality, that sort of thing. But I absolutely loved science and the work I did, so it was the only job I think I could have done and it basically was my hobby too!

    • Photo: Alan Turing

      Alan Turing answered on 28 Nov 2018:


      I was a really fast runner, maybe I could have made it to the Olympics but WWII would have got in the way of that.

Comments