Born in Manchester in 1965 with a move to Norfolk in 1967 his family settled in a village called Bramhope near Leeds in 1972.  The authors secondary education took place at Prince Henry’s Grammar School (Otley, West Yorkshire).  By the age of 13 the author realised that chemistry was the most interesting of the subjects on offer at school.  He was inspired by two chemistry teachers (Mr Buncall and Mr Cunningham) that set him on the long path of viewing the world through a test tube.  He took his chemistry degree in London graduating in 1988.  This included a year in industry working for Kodak.  He took his PhD for Fraser Stoddart at Sheffield University which he completed in December 1991.  In January 1992 he started his postdoctoral research into anticancer compounds with Professor George R. Pettit at the Cancer Research Institute in Tempe in Arizona, USA.  This led to the publication of four research papers, two written by the author.  The author returned to the UK in August 1994 to complete his PGCE (Science: Chemistry) at the School of Education (Birmingham University) under the excellent tutelage of Dr Allan Soares.  On becoming a qualified teacher the author deliberately chose to work at very different schools (Highbury Fields, King Solomon High, Greensward College, Stonyhurst College, Uppingham School, Radley College) to gain as much experience early on in his teaching career as possible before moving to Winchester College in 2005.  In 2006 he was invited by Dr Charles McCaw to join the team to write a new chemistry syllabus for CIE as an alternative to A-level chemistry.  He gladly accepted this offer and this led to him working alongside Chas and his former colleague Dr Simon Cotton (Uppingham) and Professor Peter Wothers (Cambridge).  Claire Wilkes (CIE) was fundamental to the success of the syllabus development and the author is grateful for all her help.  For Pre-U chemistry the author has co-written the syllabus, written numerous multiple choice questions (Paper 1), revised mark schemes for specimen papers, mapped the Pre-U against the new OCR A-level, been the moderator for the online CIE forum, and given numerous INSETs in Winchester and London.  The author has been Head of Chemistry at Winchester College since April 2008.  He began writing the textbook in July 2008 and finished on 18th August 2009.  The author also provided the vast majority of the diagrams and pictures for the book.  The final proof was signed off on 29th October 2009.  The front cover of the textbook shows a Borromean ring synthesized by the research group of Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart now at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA).


Dr. Michael A. Thompson