Quick & Quirky Questions with Mike Smith

Mike is nearly seventy. Since ceasing full time work nearly ten years ago, Mike Smith has pursued a ‘later life’ career providing expert advice, training and coaching in the areas of research, innovation, and commercialisation. He currently serves as Chair or Non-Executive Director on the Boards of several organisations and companies and is also a Trustee of the Wigtown Book Festival. 

His later life career builds on his expertise acquired over the years as a research scientist working in the NHS, the University sector, and with commercial companies. He trained as a physicist but has mostly worked in the medical and health sector and has been a Professor of Medical Physics and then Medical Science for over thirty years. For the last ten years of his full-time career, he was Deputy and Pro Vice Chancellor in the University sector, broadening his experience and expertise into other sectors.

He has played music throughout his life but did not start learning the instruments he plays in bands until later in life. He started playing saxophone when he was in his mid-forties and didn’t start playing bass until just before the start of lockdown.

Correspondence about later life careers (ProfMASmith@gmail.com) or playing music (mike.smith@jammingcodgers.com) would be welcome.


What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

Now. It always has been.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Cosmo Saltana (JB Priestley: The Image Men). I don’t know his exact age, but I’ve always envisaged him to be in his early sixties.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

My laptop, for purely practical reasons and the need for information and records to deal with the aftermath of the fire. Everything else is either underpinned by memories or just stuff. 

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Playing music.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

Sadly, I think there is nothing about me that is either surprising or unexpected.

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