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Tell us, Solly

Tim Radford: Solly Zuckerman, 20 September 2001

Solly ZuckermanA Scientist out of the Ordinary 
by John Peyton.
Murray, 252 pp., £22.50, May 2001, 9780719562839
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... Solly Zuckerman was one of a group of clear thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic who helped make science a normal part of government policy. He began at floor level in 1940, when the Royal Navy asked him to find out the force at which a leg would break. When a ship hit a mine and blew up, the vertical displacement of the deck was enough to snap the ankles of a seaman standing on it ...

Big enough to deter

Jeff McMahan, 15 April 1982

Nuclear Illusion and Reality 
by Solly Zuckerman.
Collins, 154 pp., £7.50, January 1982, 0 00 216554 6
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... Lord Zuckerman’s recent pronouncements on the nuclear arms race have been favourably received by a large number of people of surprisingly divergent outlooks. His words are piously quoted by spokesmen for CND, and have been endorsed with enthusiasm by Lord Chalfont, the scourge of unilateralists. They have even received the blessing of three of Britain’s former prime ministers ...

Saving the World

Barbara Wootton, 19 June 1980

Sage: A Life of J.D. Bernal 
by Maurice Goldsmith.
Hutchinson, 255 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 9780091395506
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... his scientific adviser. The invitation was accepted on condition that Bernal’s fellow scientist, Solly Zuckerman, whose interests lay more in the biological than the physical sciences, should be offered a similar position. Both were forthwith installed in Mountbatten’s Whitehall office, where they found themselves preceded by Geoffrey Pyke, a ...


M.F. Perutz: Memories of J.D.Bernal, 6 July 2000

... John Anderson, the minister responsible for civil defence, commissioned Bernal and the anatomist Solly Zuckerman to report on the physical damage, casualties, effects on absenteeism and morale caused by the German bombing of two typical cities, with a view to assessing the likely effects of British bombing raids on Germany. Anderson did this at the ...

Animal Experiences

Colin Tudge: At the zoo, 21 June 2001

A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future 
by David Hancocks.
California, 280 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 0 520 21879 5
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... by the lumber of their past, however prestigious the lumber may be. The despotic Lord ‘SollyZuckerman, as ZSL Secretary, dominated the postwar decades and disdained the notion that either London Zoo or Whipsnade should concern itself with conservation. As Hancocks recalls, he used his influence with ...

Every club in the bag

Michael Howard, 10 September 1992

The Chiefs: The Story of the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff 
by Bill Jackson and Dwin Bramall.
Brassey, 508 pp., £29.95, April 1992, 0 08 040370 0
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... to the Ministry, especially when it was held by so influential and politically astute a figure as Solly Zuckerman. The PUS and the CSA now constituted with the Chief of Defence Staff a trinity of advisers to the Minister, in which the CDS was by no means necessarily the most important member.This was the system that Denis Healey found when he because ...

Principal Boy

Nigel Hamilton, 21 March 1985

by Philip Ziegler.
Collins, 786 pp., £15, March 1985, 0 00 216543 0
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... in the event of a coup d’état. Fortunately, as so often before, he was saved by his friend Sir Solly Zuckerman, just as Churchill was so often saved by friends of similar stature. Despite his exaggerated claims to historic deeds and influence (‘a cavalier indifference to the facts to magnify his own achievements’, as Ziegler describes the ...
Scientists in Whitehall 
by Philip Gummett.
Manchester, 245 pp., £14.50, July 1980, 0 7190 0791 7
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Development of Science Publishing in Europe 
edited by A.J. Meadows.
Elsevier, 269 pp., $48.75, October 1980, 0 444 41915 2
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... and about the people whose job it is to make the connections across this interface. Old hands like Solly Zuckerman tell us how it was for them, and perceptive novelists such as Nigel Balchin, William Cooper and C.P. Snow expose much that is true in the guise of fiction. Drawing upon a variety of sources – reports of Royal Commissions, obiter dicta of ...

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