John Ball is retiring as Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy, Oxford oldest scientific chair. In this interview with Alain Goriely he charts the journey of the applied the subject has developed over the last 50 years.

Describing his struggles with exams and his time at Cambridge, Sussex and Heriot-Watt before coming to Oxford in 1996, John reflects on how his interests have developed, what he prizes in his students, as well as describing walking round St Petersburg with Grigori Perelman, his work as an ambassador for his subject and the vital importance of family (and football).





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