A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Friday, January 07, 2005

A touch of Friday solipsism.....

Somebody asked me the other day about my interests in life when I'm not fighting ecohype and for sound science in the media. As it is a Friday, I thought I might oblige by providing a quick answer for any who might care to know.

Outside science, my passions are classical music, especially early music, and master works on paper (i.e., master drawings and prints). For many years, I was very lucky to be able to conduct a wonderful ensemble, called Pifaresca, of highly-talented young musicians who specialised in baroque and renaissance recorders, crumhorns and cornamusen, racketts, shawms, and the renaissance harp. It was a real joy, but took up an immense amount of time - we presented summer concerts in churches and at Heritage/National Trust properties, like Knole. Sadly, I had to give this up because of pressures of work.

I have written and published quite a lot of music, mostly for children, including The Peter Rabbit Recorder Book (Frederick Warne & Penguin, USA, 1984), The Pooh Recorder Book (Methuen, 1985), The Wind in the Willows Recorder Book (Methuen, 1987) and the The Brambly Hedge Music Book (Collins, 1991). I have also dabbled in writing orchestral scores, mainly bad, but including what I hope is a creditable 'Clarinet Concerto in C', which has, amazingly, been successfully performed. When I can afford to treat myself to the new all-dancing 'Sibelius', I'll put it on the web!

I likewise spend a lot of time learning about master prints and drawings. Indeed, I have an article just out in the latest Issue of Country Illustrated Magazine (Anniversary Issue, 2005, pp. 110-113) on 'Master prints of the rural scene'. I'm that odd bod who, on visiting a major exhibition, turns immediately to the prints and drawings rather than to the paintings. I write a general monthly column for Country Illustrated, mainly on rural matters, but, I hope, in the future, on art too.

In addition, I have long-term academic connections with Thailand (dreadfully sad at the moment) and I am currently Chair of the rather splendid Anglo-Thai Society, which takes up an increasing amount of my time. If you are interested in Thai culture, life, and history, I very much encourage you to join. We have two delightful annual receptions, a summer one in The House of Lords, a winter one at The Oriental Club in London. My latest book, with Dr. Santanee Phasuk, is actually on Thailand: Royal Siamese Maps. War and Trade in Nineteenth Century Thailand (Bangkok: River Books, 2004).

Finally, but most importantly of all, I am very grateful to have a marvellous family (my wife is an historian and biographer), and it is now all focus on our first grandson, Henry, who is better, and much more fun, than any hobby.

Enough solipsism, Ed! But, at least, I hope you can see that I'm not just an obsessive about ecohype!

Philip, in need of some coffee [tragically ("Shhh! Don't tell Norm!"), I also support the 'Latics - Oldham Athletic!]

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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