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IRRI Pioneer Interview: Thank You, Margaret Thatcher

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Uploaded on May 28, 2010

I started to become restless towards the end of the 1980s, due in no small part to Margaret Thatcher and her government. In a sense, you can blame the fact that I came to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI; http://irri.org ) on Margaret Thatcher. Her government was imposing a lot of measures on the university system. I was getting very uncomfortable with this and I started to question my role within the university system. I enjoyed the teaching, but advancement within the university system didn't necessarily take into account one's complete contribution. Your research was paramount and yet you were expected to do all this teaching, which I was doing.

So, one day out of the blue, an advertisement landed on my desk. I don't know who it came from—friend or foe. It was for the position of head of the then Rice Genetic Resources Center at IRRI. So, I put in an application around about September or so, 1990. I was called for an interview the first week of January 1991.

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