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Scholar and commoner

January 22, 2015

Both chemistry students at Hertford College Oxford in my year had a profound connection with chemistry.
The other student was the son of Oxford University’s “Dr Lee’s” Professor of Physical Chemistry, and I was born in a house built by Warrington Borough Council on a Leblanc alkali process galligu tip, with significant concentrations of interesting if toxic chemical elements and compounds including arsenic, lead, nickel, mercury, chromium, copper, cadmium, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, in the soil.

“Fluffy” and me. Don’t eat the flowers, Fluffy!

I achieved GCE A-levels in maths, physics and chemistry at my state school, all at grade A. I don’t know what the professor’s son had. It must have been difficult to decide who should receive Hertford College’s chemistry “open” scholarship, and the associated accommodation entitlement.
I imagine Hertford College Oxford University judged that the Oxford University chemistry professor’s son needed more encouragement to study chemistry at Oxford University, than I did.


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