Bill Brown was born on 24th December 1929, in Edinburgh, was evacuated during the war, and then came back to his family in Edinburgh, where he obtained his undergraduate university education. Despite speaking French for most of his professional life, when speaking English, he never lost his slight Edinburgh accent. He studied chemistry at Edinburgh University from 1948 to 1952, obtaining a first class honours degree, then set out to gain a degree in geology, partly, we suspect, because of his love for the Scottish mountains. The university regulations did not allow graduates to hold two honours degrees, so when,...

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