Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Prize winner, was ‘too stupid’ for science at school


At the age of 15, Prof Sir John Gurdon ranked last out of the 250 boys in his Eton year group at biology, and was in the bottom set in every other science subject.


Sixty-four years later he has been recognised as one of the finest minds of his generation after being awarded the £750,000 annual prize, which he shares with Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka.


Speaking after learning of his award in London on Monday, Sir John revealed that his school report still sits above his desk at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, which is named in his honour.

Sir John Gurdon, Nobel Prize winner, was ‘too stupid’ for science at school

At the age of 15, Prof Sir John Gurdon ranked last out of the 250 boys in his Eton year group at biology, and was in the bottom set in every other science subject.

Sixty-four years later he has been recognised as one of the finest minds of his generation after being awarded the £750,000 annual prize, which he shares with Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka.

Speaking after learning of his award in London on Monday, Sir John revealed that his school report still sits above his desk at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, which is named in his honour.

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