John Maddox was a man of prodigious energy, blessed by an astonishing memory, and with a deep understanding of broad swathes of science. As a lecturer at the University of Manchester he seemed set on an academic career and was widely regarded as the most promising member of an outstanding group of young theoreticians. Yet during five years he published no papers, other than an unsigned account in Nature in 1951 of the newly opened Joule Museum in Salford. He suffered, it was thought, from want of confidence in writing up his work, but then came his precipitate move to the Manchester Guardian, where he at once began to publish profusely. From then on, printer's ink coursed through his veins: his devotion to journalism endured to the end of his life, and brought him high distinction.
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