Clive Oppenheimer, volcanologist

Desert Island Discs

17-03-2024 • 38 mins

Clive Oppenheimer is a volcanologist, filmmaker and Professor of Volcanology at the University of Cambridge. His research has taken him on expeditions across the world, from Antarctica, where he discovered the camp of Captain Scott’s attempt to reach the South Pole, to Ethiopia where he was held at gunpoint by rebels.

Clive was born in London, and fell in love with rocks and the stories they tell on visits to what is now the Natural History Museum. His mother survived the Blitz in London and his father escaped persecution by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. On a gap year trip to Indonesia, Clive saw his first volcanoes and realised both their natural power and their significance in human lives. He studied at the University of Cambridge, and completed a PhD at the Open University.

He has taken part in and led expeditions to volcanoes all over the world, including Indonesia, Italy and Ethiopia. He is one of few Westerners to have worked in North Korea, where he was invited by the government to study volcanic activity at the culturally significant Mount Baekdu.

He has also made three documentaries with filmmaker Werner Herzog about volcanoes and their scientific, cultural and spiritual significance.

DISC ONE: Blue Rondo a la Turk - Dave Brubeck Quartet DISC TWO: Love Hangover - Diana Ross DISC THREE: Autobahn - Kraftwerk DISC FOUR: Lava - The B-52's DISC FIVE: Debaser - Pixies DISC SIX: Turangalîla-symphonie, Part VI Jardin du sommeil d’amour. Composed by Olivier Messiaen and performed by the Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille, cond Myung-Whun Chung, with Yvonne Loriod (piano) and Jeanne Loriod (ondes martenot) DISC SEVEN: T’zeta - Bezawork Asfew DISC EIGHT: Hymn for the Dormition of the Mother of God - The Sixteen and Harry Christophers

BOOK CHOICE: The Vivisector by Patrick White LUXURY ITEM: A seismometer CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Debaser – Pixies

Presenter Lauren Laverne Producers Sarah Taylor and Tim Bano

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