When Sarah Gleeson invited me to contribute this scientific life history three years ago, she said it would be hard work and time consuming, and she was absolutely right. It is undoubtedly the most difficult subject I have ever attempted to address and, embarrassingly, by far the most egotistical and personalised. It is to be hoped that older readers will identify with some of the scientific quandaries and anecdotes described, and that their younger counterparts will aspire and look forward to encountering similar challenges and situations ahead of them. Perhaps my main regret is being unable, for reasons of political...

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