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Seeing is (not necessarily) believing?

Campden BRI, Chipping Campden, GL55 6LD, United Kingdom
Member of AgroFOOD industry hi-tech’s Scientific Advisory Board

This is a story of how forgetting my parents’ advice influenced my career progression. During my childhood in the late 1950’s and early 60’s, there was still a strong tradition of telling stories to children. In my family the most popular were the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. My parents used stories not only as means of entertainment but also of teaching basic life skills, for example, be careful about accepting food from strangers (Snow White). The two fairy tales of relevance to this story were both written by Hans Christian Andersen: “The Ugly Duckling” (Don’t simply judge by appearances) and the “Emperor’s New Clothes” (What every one holds to be true may not be).

 These lessons applied to my first job interview experience as a final year undergraduate in mid 1970’s Great Britain. Then, as now, new-graduate recruitment was problematic and the two most pressing concerns at the end of one’s final year were successfully graduating and getting a job. I therefore considered myself extremely fortunate when I received an invitation for interview as a graduate trainee a ...

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