A Scientist Since Childhood

Question: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Aubrey de Grey: I think actually the things that have helped me most in my career have not been so much advice. They’ve been things that happened in very formative ages. First of all I was brought up by my mother as a single parent, and she gave me an enormous really strong desire to learn; desire to understand the world, and specifically, she gave me a very strong desire; I don’t know how she did this, but a very strong desire to understand myself. So I became a scientist largely through introspection; largely through realizing at a relatively young age, maybe even nine or ten that somehow what I wanted to do with my life was to make a difference to the world, and it was easy to move there into an understanding that being a scientist was the most effective way to do that; you know that sort of thing. So it all really came from an early age; so early I can’t really call it advice.

Recorded on:  October 2, 2009

Aubrey de Grey recalls how he was inspired by his single mother to pursue a scientific career at a young age.

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