8 Questions with Professor Andrea Sella

16 August 2017

This week, meet Professor Andrea Sella who joined the department in 1990. Andrea explains his reason for never flying…

1. How old were you when you first realised you were interested in chemistry?

I was about 16 and my teacher, Mr Martin, suggested that if I smelled the unknowns in our organic chemistry analytical practical I would know what the functional group was. It opened a whole new sensual world. I've spent the rest of my life trying to check out of chemistry. But I know I can never leave.

2. What made you take up a career in chemistry?

The smells and the tastes.

3. Who inspired you to take up chemistry and why?

My father who gave me books, but also Dan Beninson, an Argentinian nuclear physicist who explained Raoult’s law to me in a few minutes one sunny afternoon in Nairobi.

4.What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Being happy.

5.What is your favourite album, film and novel?

There are so many. But maybe Tristram Shandy is the novel that comes closest to expressing what I love.

6.Who would be your dream dinner guests?

My friends, my family, and my students.

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

That I don’t fly. Climate change is serious and we each have to act. Now!

8. What are your top three things to do/see/go to in London?

Three?? Remember Samuel Johnson. You will never stop finding marvellous corners of London to challenge and broaden you.