Adventures in the school science lab

GCSE results tomorrow. Science was my weak spot.
Back in school the lab was a place to mess around.
I remember how we laughed so cruelly one afternoon when a magnet placed in a glass container full of oil leapt towards another being moved along the outside.
The experiment – God knows what it was about – was successful. But the magnets collided at such speed that the glass broke and oil spilled all over the harassed teacher’s trousers.
Our laughter seems very hurtful now, particularly as from the lab we watched him make the long walk up the school drive to change.
Funny now, that I enjoy science programmes on the TV. Perhaps I am playing catch-up.
Experiments at school never seemed connected to anything, or I certainly never made a connection. History and literature at least had themes which seemed to matter.
Now, of course, I see it differently. Last week I interviewed one of the most controversial scientists of the last few decades, Chandra Wickramasinghe.
He was one of the first to propose that life started not here on earth but was generated with material from comets which smashed against the surface of our planet.
Fascinating man and career. Although my CSE Physics provided me no help at all during our conversation.

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