Accident, rather than inspiration, has determined my career. As the result of an illness, I found myself in the science stream at school rather than the Classics stream. I read chemistry rather than physics at the University of Oxford, in an equally accidental sort of way. My career was decided in the college lodge on a warm summer’s afternoon, at the end of my second year there. Just as I was about to depart for the vacation, I saw a little notice seeking workers for a Welsh hill farm for six weeks. I have now been in soil science for over 40 years.
I can be more specific about who inspired me to take up science. SBC Williams was an outstanding chemistry teacher at Berkhamsted School, and I am still aware of his influence. Peter Nye, reader in soil science at Oxford, and Peter Le Mare, my supervisor when I was a volunteer at a research station in Tanzania, between them nudged me into research.
Thomas Addiscott is coauthor of Nitrate, Agriculture and the Enivronment (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Farming, Fertilisers and the Nitrate Problem (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.