Physician, Microbiologist and Art Historian Barry on viruses, Islamic art, polonium, etc.

We describe Barry – entirely accurately – as a Renaissance man. He has nine degrees plus the Blue Badge Guiding Qualification. He’s a microbiologist, a physician, and an art historian. And, yes, for sure, he’s had a distinguished career, including seeing front-line action against Coronavirus.

In this Meet Your Guide interview Barry talks about the extraordinary life he’s led.


“they could carry those spores around for decades in their jackets”

“I was personally involved in that investigation”

“I got to know Oxford very well”

“the scientists had an invisible layer of spore in their jackets”

“I became a bug detective”

“bugs love temperatures”

“‘shoe-leather epidemiology’ they call it”

“it’s fun to bring in personal stuff”

“at that stage we were working with trying to control Covid in nursing homes”

“pandemics are very interesting”

“the London plague wasn’t a pandemic”

“they were catapulting the victims over the wall”

“that’ll be the strategy going forward”

“viruses are totally unpredictable”

“I spent 25 years of my life doing emergency planning”

“maybe Coronavirus will be the new flu”

“there’ll be a shower of Nobel prizes”

“we might have a single jab that will take care of all of the childhood diseases”

“a quantum leap in vaccinology”

“all you need is to have that genetic code”

“where it’s come from is still a mystery”

“we’ve got to treat nature more gently”

“art history at night and microbiology during the day”

“like nothing else in the world”



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