The Whens and Wheres of a Scientific Life  book cover
1st Edition

The Whens and Wheres of a Scientific Life

ISBN 9780367489717
Published February 15, 2021 by CRC Press
176 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Big questions and issues arise about the role of the scientific life in our society and in our world. These have to do with trusting science at all, or with the wider roles of the scientist. The Whens and Wheres of a Scientific Life serves as an epilogue to author John R. Helliwell’s scientific life trilogy of books on the Hows (i.e. skills), the Whys and the Whats of a scientific life. When and where questions play a big role in major science facility decisions. When and where also play a big role in controlling a pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. The consequences of such work and the role science plays in society are discussed in this book.

Key Features:

  • Discusses when and where we can make new and better things happen and make new discoveries. Explains whens and wheres as examples in basic science and explaining these to the public
  • User friendly and concise, this text provides a wide range of examples of science and discovery
  • The author has diverse experience in career development, teaching and research
  • The importance of open data to the reproducibility of science are described

Table of Contents



About the Author


Part 1 The development of my scientific life

Chapter 1 When and where I embraced the scientific life

Chapter 2 When did I become a crystallographer?

Chapter 3 When did I begin to serve the international community of science?

Chapter 4 Where did my scientific career lead me?

Chapter 5 When did I become a writer of popular science books?

Chapter 6  When did I become passionate about World Peace?


Part 2 Where to look for your inspiration? Select your role models; here are my role models in science

Chapter 7 When I was at the Physics Department at York University, UK; My memories of Professor Michael Woolfson FRS

Chapter 8 When a researcher; my collaborations with Professor Durward Cruickshank FRS

Chapter 9 When I discovered the efforts for peace by esteemed crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lonsdale FRS

Chapter 10 When and where I met a giant of Indian science; Professor M. Vijayan, who became President of the Indian National Science Academy

Part 3 Career development

Chapter 11 When should I look to my employer to facilitate career development?

Chapter 12 Where do you want to get to? Career road maps


Part 4 Specific examples across the disciplines of science: the when and where in basic science

Chapter 13 When but not where or where but not when? The non-classical world of quantum physics for the electron and what it means for chemistry

Chapter 14 When again and where again? Frequency and repetition in physics and mathematics

Chapter 15 When and where to invest in a new megaproject? The proposed UK X-ray laser

Chapter 16 When to move fast yet take care: Contributing to the understanding of coronavirus, covid-19 in 2020

Part 5 Where to recruit new enthusiasts? Science outreach examples

Chapter 17 When and where are broader impacts of science on society

Chapter 18 When I lectured at the British Association Festival of Science held at the University of Liverpool in September 2008

Chapter 19 When I presented a Discourse at The Royal Institution


Part 6 Big Issues for Scientists and for Members of the Public and Schoolchildren

Chapter 20 Where to place one’s trust?

Chapter 21 Where are the primary experimental data? Ensuring reproducibility in science

Chapter 22 When to cross the boundaries of different academic disciplines?


Part 7 The role of scientists themselves, the funding agencies and government in determining the future in research and development; a very important when and where

Chapter 23 Where are the scientists heading?

Chapter 24 Where do funding agencies and government want to take us?



Subject index

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John R Helliwell, DSc (Physics, University of York), DPhil (Molecular Biophysics, Oxford University) is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at The University of Manchester, where he served as Professor of Structural Chemistry from 1989 to 2012. Academic teaching from 1979 till 1988 was at the Universities of Keele and York in the physics departments there. He is a researcher in the fields of crystallography, biophysics, structural biology, structural chemistry and data science. He was also based at the Synchrotron Radiation Source at the UK’s Daresbury Laboratory, in various periods of appointment between 1979 to 2008, including in 2002 as Director of Synchrotron Radiation Science. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society of Biology, and the American Crystallographic Association, an Honorary Member of the British Crystallographic Association and of the British Biophysical Society. He is a Corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences & Arts of Barcelona, Spain and Honorary Member of the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia. His awards include the European Crystallographic Association Eighth Max Perutz Prize 2015, the American Crystallographic Association Patterson Award 2014, and the ‘Professor K Banerjee Endowment Lecture Silver Medal’ of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) 2001.  He published over 200 scientific research papers and several books, e.g. Macromolecular Crystallography with Synchrotron Radiation with  Cambridge University Press (1992), published in paperback in 2005 and Macromolecular Crystallization and Crystal Perfection with N E Chayen and E H Snell), Oxford University Press - International Union of Crystallography Monographs on Crystallography (2010). He has published several Scientific Life, popular science, books in recent years, which are with CRC Press Taylor and Francis.