Fred Sanger on Advice to Young Scientists
  Fred Sanger     Biography    
Recorded: 16 Jun 2005

I don’t know really…Yes. Well, I think that makes a big difference if you can find something that interests you. I certainly think that I was lucky. You know, I didn’t sort of have to earn a lot of money. I actually started off I had enough money to pay for my own first year. So I was lucky. But obviously people have to find the money. But I think it’s worth taking a little less money and doing something that you are interested in and that really excites you. I think that is important and then you can do that nowadays I think if you’re bright. I think that students ought to be allowed a bit more freedom than they are [allowed] because sometimes you get original ideas from a student who doesn’t know very much and may try something silly. But I think its’ worth taking a risk. I mean this was fairly risky to start working on proteins and certainly to start working on RNA. I mean when I started working on RNA there were very few other people working on it. It did mean that there wasn’t a lot of competition and I could work out. If you get into a very competitive field its not very rewarding and it’s a bit depressing if somebody beats you to it.

Frederick Sanger, OM, CH, CBE, FRS (born 13 August 1918) is an English biochemist and twice a Nobel laureate in chemistry. In 1958 he was awarded a Nobel prize in chemistry "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin". In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids". The other half was awarded to Paul Berg "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA".

He is the fourth (and only living) person to have been awarded two Nobel Prizes, either wholly or in part.