Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
Roger Highfield
science editor of the Daily Telegraph

A combination of factors got me hooked on science. It probably began with my father, who taught mathematics at technical college. Then there was the shiny, optimistic vision of science in the 1960s, which was incredibly seductive. Like every schoolboy, I could not get enough of the Apollo moon landings and the remarkable escape in Apollo 13 –  which, if anything, seems even more incredible all these decades later.

I was lucky that at school my chemistry teacher – Glyn James – always went beyond what we were supposed to be taught, and strayed into subjects like quantum mechanics. His efforts, plus all the dangerous demonstrations and explosions allowed at that time, led me to study chemistry at university. My doctorate was inspired by the thought of being able to jet off to Grenoble a couple of times each year to bounce neutrons off soap bubbles, and to work my way through one menu compris after another – and gallons of wine – on civil service expenses.

Roger Highfield is coauthor of After Dolly: The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order in a Chaotic World (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).