Like a lot of people, I was fascinated by science as a kid, but found school science about as inspiring as a tax return (and twice as confusing).
I stuck at it through my teens hoping it would improve, but it never did. I wanted to know why the universe is like it is, and why toast tends to land butter-side down, but school science only wanted to teach the answer to question 4 on Paper II. Thinking it must be better at university, I ended up at Oxford reading physics, but that was the worst of all: really dull and really hard. Somehow I got a degree and I left determined to find a way of staying in touch with the interesting bits of science while dodging the dull stuff.
While lounging about on a beach in Majorca, I came up with the solution: become a science writer. For the last 30 years I've covered scientific issues for a host of outlets, from magazines like BBC Focus and New Scientist and newspapers like The Times and Sunday Telegraph.
I found some of the stories I worked on so interesting that I started doing academic research into the questions they raised. As a result, I've ended up with a dual career. I'm a Visiting Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Aston University, UK, and spend a lot of time thinking about probability and statistical issues (as described in my latest book Chancing It). At the same time, I run a consultancy business in science and media.
And I've got a better understanding of why the universe is like it is, and why toast tends to land butter-down (I even won an Ig Nobel Prize in 1996 for showing how the two are linked).
I'm updating my website at www.robertmatthews.org, and you can check out my academic work at aston.academia.edu/RobertMatthews