I’ve a very proud moment coming up on Thursday when De Montfort University, in my home city will award me an Honorary Doctorate in technology.
It’s a real thrill and I’m very flattered.
I grew up in Leicester and from a sixteen year old’s perspective, the Poly, as it was then, was the place to hang out. I met one of my first boyfriends there and hold him responsible for shaping much of my musical taste by dumping his LPs on me while I was revising for my A levels.
My ‘A’ levels weren’t in Science subjects but in English, History, French and German. I’d wanted to be a vet or a doctor but had struggled with Chemistry. No-one ever mentioned my strengths in Maths and Physics could lead to other opportunities – so to the distress of my Physics teacher and my Dad, I made a last minute change to my ‘A’ level line up.
The doctorate comes for “outstanding contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation and region” and for “bringing about a greater understand of and interest in science and technology”
Which sounds a bit grand when really it has all been a very happy accident.
Being invited to join Tomorrow’s World was without doubt one of the best moments of my life. It felt like coming home – and I relished every minute.For ten years I reported on some of the most extraordinary advances in science and technology and shared my enthusiasm with a keen audience, many of whom were really waiting for Top of the Pops but found themselves drawn into an exciting and often astonishing world.
I might not have realised my own dream of a veterinary or medical career but unwittingly really, along with my fellow reporters and producers, I inspired a raft of young people to take up careers in all areas of science and technology. I’ve since had the pleasure of meeting many who have credited Tomorrow’s World with sowing the first seeds of their passion and interest. It is always thrilling to hear these stories. Many can reel off items that particularly fascinated them.
Those young people are now in their thirties and forties and often heading up tech companies or University departments and their affection for Tomorrow’s World has come in very handy. I’ve been overwhelmed by the way leading companies and individuals have now got behind our TeenTech initiative to create a powerful collaborative effort which inspires and enthuse young teenagers. I’m very proud of what we’re doing and will do in the future. If you want to support or join us, we’d welcome your involvement.
So in my mind, the doctorate really goes to ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and ‘TeenTech’ and I am proud to accept it on their behalf.