Top Quotes by Robert Winston

In prehistoric times, Homo sapiens was deeply endangered. Early humans were less fleet of foot, with fewer natural weapons and less well-honed senses than all the predators that threatened them. Moreover, they were hampered in their movements by the need to protect their uniquely immature young – juicy meals for any hungry beast.

Robert Winston

I went to school with butterflies of fear every day for years – from primary school onwards – not just worried about being bullied by classmates, but by teachers.

Robert Winston

Neuroscience is now a very important research area in biology. We are now understanding a lot more about brains in babies, as well as children and adults.

Robert Winston

I think humans have always wrestled with the Divine Idea – an idea that unites and separates, creates and destroys, consoles and terrifies. Throughout human history, it is an idea that seems sometimes to have caused whole populations to rise up and slaughter one another.

Robert Winston

Childhood is not dead. Children were worse off when we were hunter-gatherers; they were threatened in medieval times and exploited during the Industrial Revolution. Was it any better in the time of Charles Kingsley or Charles Dickens?

Robert Winston

In reality, both religion and science are expressions of man’s uncertainty. Perhaps the paradox is that certainty, whether it be in science or religion, is dangerous.

Robert Winston

When I look in the mirror, I am slightly reminded of self-portraits by Durer and by Rembrandt, because they both show a degree of introspection. I see some element of disappointment; I see a sense of humour, but also something that is faintly ridiculous; and I see somebody who is frightened of being found out and thought lightweight.

Robert Winston

We live longer and healthier lives than ever before. Animal research has improved the treatment of infections, helped with immunisation, improved cancer treatment and had a big impact on managing heart disease, brain disorders, arthritis and transplantation.

Robert Winston

We must not confuse religion with God, or technology with science. Religion stands in relationship to God as technology does in relation to science. Both the conduct of religion and the pursuit of technology are capable of leading mankind into evil; but both can prompt great good.

Robert Winston

Some people, both scientists and religious people, deal with uncertainty by being certain. That is dangerous in the fundamentalists and it is dangerous in the fundamentalist scientists.

Robert Winston

Religion has endured since the dawn of human consciousness precisely because it encompasses so much of being human. No idea has endured so long, gathered up so many disparate needs and wants and feelings, and inspired so many different paths towards understanding it.

Robert Winston

It’s very clear from Biblical history and Jewish history that Jewish monotheism wasn’t developed in an instant, that it became gradually the accepted norm. But undoubtedly, Jewish ancestors were polytheists.

Robert Winston

Carbon dioxide is unusual because it doesn’t go through the usual three phases of matter, from solid to liquid to gas, but it goes straight from solid to gas. The volume of the gas is much greater than the volume of the solid. When a solid turns into a gas, we say it sublimes. The process is sublimation.

Robert Winston

Robots may cut down on infection and mean a consultant can see more patients, but wouldn’t you rather meet the doctor than a machine?

Robert Winston

I don’t believe in regretting – one should try to move on. My mum was good at that. She was deeply in love with my father, and he died when I was nine. She remarried, and her second husband died, too. I saw the grieving process she went through. My mother had this way of moving on. It was a fine trait.

Robert Winston

Nearly all inventions are not recognised for their positive side either when they’re made. So, for example, scientists didn’t go out to design a CD machine: they designed a laser. But we got all sorts of things from a laser which we never remotely imagined, and we’re still finding things for a laser to do.

Robert Winston

I don’t think you can impose limits on science because the very nature of homo sapiens is that he – she – is an inquisitive species. You can’t control science. You have to control the effects of science.

Robert Winston

As parents, can we counter the effect of television violence? One worrying feature in Britain is that so many TV sets are in a child’s bedroom; this means that the mediating effect of watching with a parent, the ability to discuss and interpret what has been seen, is lost.

Robert Winston

You can now modify the genes of large animals, and the largest animal we are concerned with is the human.

Robert Winston

By discovering how our minds work, we can improve our learning power and unlock our true potential.

Robert Winston

Medicine, which I wouldn’t be without, has also been a force for… less good. For example, if you look at our mishandling of the immune system, using antibiotics in children and avoiding infection, we’ve certainly increased the risk of asthma.

Robert Winston

Man is a competitive creature, and the seeds of conflict are built deep into our genes. We fought each other on the savannah and only survived against great odds by organising ourselves into groups which would have had a common purpose, giving morale and fortitude.

Robert Winston

I do not know of any credible evidence that suggests Dr. Zavos can clone a human being. This seems to be yet another one of his claims to get publicity.

Robert Winston

About 3 million IVF babies have been born since Louise Brown’s birth in 1978. Bizarrely, when this life-giving treatment was first considered, it was massively controversial. A storm of vitriolic protest came from many religious leaders, journalists, politicians, regrettably even other scientists and doctors.

Robert Winston

I don’t much like being a public figure, because so often how people appear is not how they really are, and I think one of the issues about our society is that we make judgments about people on the basis of very flimsy evidence.

Robert Winston

I don’t like seeing myself on television and I don’t enjoy filming. What I actually enjoy is thinking about how I am going to express something or how we are going to make the visual metaphor.

Robert Winston

I was born with my moustache and, no, I’ve never been tempted to shave it off. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my face and, like Gilbert and Sullivan’s Katisha, my best feature is my left shoulder-blade.

Robert Winston

Now we have technology where we can modify the genomics of individuals by gene transfer and genetic meddling, we may find that people will want to modify their children, enhance their intelligence, their strength and their beauty and all the other so-called desirable characteristics.

Robert Winston

Of course it is a very simple matter to identify genes which might modify intelligence or memory and start thinking about whether you want to enhance a human, and the next generation is going to have to deal with that issue. Should we be trying to enhance humans rather than trying to educate them and so on?

Robert Winston

It is important that legislation keeps pace with scientific progress.

Robert Winston

Following 25 children for the TV series ‘Child of Our Time’ has been extraordinary. The BBC’s original plan was to commemorate the new millennium. What better way than to film a number of expectant mums from across the U.K.? Coming from widely different backgrounds, all were due to give birth on January 1, 2000.

Robert Winston

We are more dependent on science and engineering than at any other time in history. However, there is plenty of evidence that far too many people are scientifically illiterate, often having been put off science at school.

Robert Winston

I don’t know whether it is important to study science at a young age, though current thinking emphasises the need.

Robert Winston

I did not study science at school until I was 13, when I was totally turned on by a seemingly dreary old teacher who suddenly, unannounced, manufactured a huge explosion in the middle of a totally boring monologue. From then on, all of his class wanted to make explosions.

Robert Winston

The trouble with climate change is it’s an extraordinarily diverse and complex issue, but for example if the BBC would let me make some of the programmes I’d like to make on climate change, I bet you there would be a change of emphasis.

Robert Winston

My father died when I was nine, but I came from a stable family environment, which I think does contribute to being well-behaved.

Robert Winston

When I grew up, we didn’t have a TV, and I think more families today have ambitions of getting out of their environment, such as sending their children to university.

Robert Winston

I think that good parenting should allow children to be children. That naivety and slightly open way of looking at the world is very valuable.

Robert Winston

I love the French detective series ‘Spiral.’ It’s quite brutal to watch, but I’m already hooked.

Robert Winston

However pragmatic you are, it is very demanding being a new parent.

Robert Winston

You can’t be judgmental about babies. They are all have different needs. I was left with an enduring hatred of cheese because it was forced down me when I was young.

Robert Winston

Having a child is arguably the most important thing you do in life.

Robert Winston

A young woman in her teens has about 300,000 eggs in her ovaries. By the time she is menopausal, none are left.

Robert Winston

Women of child-bearing age steadily run out of eggs by the continuous process of cell death. While reading a copy of the ‘Guardian’ carefully from cover to cover, a normal woman will have lost on average two eggs – while, typically, a normal man will have made 70,000 new sperm.

Robert Winston

People think I appear on television to promote my image. That’s not fair. I hate filming. I turned down ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ But television is a wonderful opportunity to promote scientific ideas. ‘Super Doctors’ is a very thoughtful piece.

Robert Winston

Surgeons always underestimate the pain and disability involved in what they do to people.

Robert Winston

IVF is very commercial. The people doing it are among the best-paid in medicine: they charge a lot per treatment and it’s not in their interest to make it more effective. Having people fail means that they come back again.

Robert Winston

I think it’s important for scientists to be a bit less arrogant, a bit more humble, recognising we are capable of making mistakes and being fallacious – which is increasingly serious in a society where our work may have unpredictable consequences.

Robert Winston

Much as I like and admire Richard Dawkins, I do think that to call a book ‘The God Delusion’ is very worrying because the title implies that if you don’t believe in what I believe then you are ‘deluded.’ That, I think, is a dangerous concept and one that is unlikely to win hearts and minds.

Robert Winston

My own field, the prevention of genetic disorders in babies, has been possible only because of humane work on animals.

Robert Winston

Animal rights activists talk about cruelty and torture, some backing their assertions by publishing out-of-date photographs of ‘experiments’ banned long ago. This is a misrepresentation. The work we do is performed with compassion, care, humanity and humility. I have never seen an animal suffer pain.

Robert Winston

It is time my colleagues got real. All British universities doing worthwhile research use animals, and, instead of hiding, they should be boasting of their achievements.

Robert Winston