It has been a privilege to pursue knowledge for its own sake and to see how it might help mankind in more practical ways.
I have an idealistic view of science as a liberalising and progressive force for humanity.
I felt strongly that since the pursuit of good science was so difficult it was essential that the problem being studied was an important one to justify the effort expanded.
Like many students, I found the drudgery of real experiments and the slowness of progress a complete shock, and at my low points I contemplated other alternative careers including study of the philosophy or sociology of science.
I think it was this curiosity about the natural world which awoke my early interest in science.