What is your current role?
Professor of Synthetic Chemistry, Imperial College London.
In what way did your time at Bedales influence your education and career progression?
I was a day pupil at Bedales and so my experiences were certainly less all-encompassing than those of most of my friends who boarded. However, I was strongly influenced by the infectious and inspirational enthusiasm of several of the individual teachers at the school, most notably Dr Harry Pearson who taught me Chemistry and who provided an invaluable touchstone for subsequent career advice. More generally, I found the lack of formality and the egalitarian atmosphere provided a very enlightened atmosphere in which to develop as an individual. This and a strong but not pompous self-belief that the Bedales way of life is able to nurture - set me up to be confident and think independently.
What is your fondest memory of Bedales?
I found the lack of formality and the egalitarian atmosphere provided a very enlightened atmosphere in which to develop as an individual
Most of my fondest moments relate to more-or-less illicit extra-curricular activities engaged in with my friends. An evening spent throwing fireworks embedded in apples into the sand quarry whilst evading the attentions of Dennis Archer ranks among many of those never-to-be forgotten escapades; strictly for the purposes of scientific research of course!
What is your favourite pastime?
Cycling. Almost an obsession at times but current mileage severely curtailed by other commitments. Despite this, I always try to get in some quality cycling in the summer. For example, last year we camped near le Bourg d'Oisans which allowed for several forays up L'Alpe d'Huez and other local mountains.
What is your proudest achievement?
At Bedales, winning Le Mans! Subsequently, persuading my (now) wife Blanda to move from Geneva to England…and our two children.