Recorded: 08 May 2008
I got to know some very interesting people. I guess the thing I’ve tried to do because, I mean, my accomplishments as a scientist are modest. So let’s not talk about those. What I think I was able to do at the Wellcome Trust was to provide an environment which at the end of the day – I mean, avoiding being modest has led to see change in the way in which science is now - the biological sciences are conducted in the U.K. and that was through persuading an organization that could have ended up, if I could put about this , put in the hands of establishment , broadening its interest in basic biological research - I mean when I went to the Wellcome Trust I went there to start a program in cell and molecular biochemistry - up until that time they weren’t really supporting the basic sciences and to persuade the Trust to think big – so I persuaded them in 1989 to introduce a program that enabled people to be able to build a building because at that time they had stopped providing any funding for buildings.
This was a stage where we needed new buildings in order to encompass new research and I persuaded them that a building was really just a piece of equipment and that enabled John Gurdon– do you know John? Martin Evans who just got the Nobel Prize for stem cell work. Bridget Hogan, Ron Laskey and there were two or three others to set up the Wellcome Trust Cancer Research Campaign Institute in Cambridge which has now become the Gurdon Institute of Developmental Biology. That was the first big activity that the Trust got into. And that was really what I really managed to do at the Trust – to get them to think big and to think about doing things that government wasn’t doing, that we needed to do, that was good science to be supported and needs to be supported properly. The combination of that was the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus.
Michael Morgan, currently professor emeritus of biology, specialized in plant ecology and bioclimatology. He earned his BA from Butler University, MS and Ph.D form University of Illinois. He received the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Founders's Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and Sabbatical during the 1991-92 academic year with the Conservation Research Group, School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Michael Morgan is a member of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ecological Society of America, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Society for Conservation Biology and Natural Areas Association.
More Information: UWGB