Trained as a chemist my research background is in surface chemistry, soil science and fertiliser chemistry. After working in the DSIR (Chemistry Division and Soil Bureau), MAF, MAFTech and AgResearch I am now retired.
I enjoyed scientific research, finding it a very creative endeavour. But retirement was something I looked forward to as an opportunity to pursue other creative interests. These have involved photography and art (drawing and painting).
Somewhat surprisingly I have also found that retirement has enhanced my interest in science. The freedom from the myopic specialisation in smaller and smaller parts of reality which comes with intensive research has enabled me to return of my long interests in cosmology and scientific philosophy. New areas (to me) such as brain research and evolutionary science are also getting me out of bed in the morning. I am enjoying reading non-fictional books in these fields. It’s all been very fascinating.
Unfortunately, I no longer paint as much as I used to. But I plan to get back to it eventually. That’s one of the advantages of retirement - the freedom to follow interests as they arise!
I enjoy discussion of the wider social and philosophical issue surrounding science. Unfortunately these issues are often misrepresented in our society and I believe scientists have a responsibility to counter unscientific thinking and movements. This is one of the reasons I got into blogging, starting up Open Parachute in the middle of 2007. I am very enthusiastiuc about the new SciBlogsNZ platform as my experience has led me to see that blogging is an ideal platform for scientists. SciBlogNZ will, I am sure, catch on and encourage more scientists to get into science writng and social discussion of science.