After wrapping up his last experiment on the day that he was supposed to retire, Sanger did not again work in the lab and spent the rest of his life gardening.

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4 Responses to “Frederick Sanger: Thirty Years a Gardener”

  1. adam Says:

    UD, thank you for that.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    You’re welcome, adam.

  3. Bill Gleason Says:

    I met Fred Sanger when I was on sabbatical in Cambridge about ten years ago.

    I went in to a seminar about something or other and sat down, shortly to be joined by a familiar face. When I asked him if he was Fred Sanger, he smiled and answered: “Why yes, I think I am.” No doubt he got asked this question an average of once a day.

    He didn’t exactly go cold turkey on science after retirement because we had a chat about peptide sequence determination using mass spectral data and he seemed to be pretty up to date on this newer method of sequence determination for which he got his first Nobel Prize doing it the old fashioned way.

    Later in the week, I bumped into him accidentally at the Sanger Center, no less, and he was very friendly and obviously remembered our earlier chat.

    Another thing that amused me was in seeing mentioned in several obituaries that:

    Dr Sanger retired in 1983 to spend time gardening and “messing about in boats.”

    Of course most of us who’ve had children – at least in the English speaking world – recall the phrase from the Wind in the Willows:

    “There’s nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.”

    In science, there really hasn’t been anyone else like Fred, and never will be again.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Bill: Wonderful details. He sounds like a truly modest and kind person. UD

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