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
Dr Patrick E McSharry
Royal Academy of Engineering research fellow at the University of Oxford

As a child I was always very questioning, and I wanted to understand how everyday objects worked. I later discovered that such an understanding required a broad range of knowledge, and that this scientific expertise could also be useful for solving practical problems. School lessons helped me to understand the foundations of science, but the focus on theory and underlying principles made it easy to forget that the most important objective is to explore and enjoy science.

I decided to read theoretical physics at Trinity College in Dublin, and this provided a good balance between theoretical and applied science. I enjoyed the fact that mathematical models could explain so much of what we had learned in physics classes. At the same time, I realised that while these models were interesting in themselves, they relied upon some drastic assumptions.

Since then, I have been pursuing multidisciplinary applied science, and I have worked with engineers, applied mathematicians, economists, biologists and statisticians. I enjoy following a project all the way through from a problem or idea to the development of new technology. I believe that multidisciplinary problem solving allows us to use science in a way that is fun and of great interest, to both experts and laypersons.

Patrick McSharry is coeditor of Advanced Methods And Tools for ECG Data Analysis (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.