This autobiography presents a personal account of the life of a woman academic, over a span of 60 years, from incidents in her childhood, through the education process from primary to pre-university education in British Malaya to two doctorates from University College London. As the story unfolds, it is Immediately apparent that her journey in academia has been far from ordinary.
She gives credit to the excellent early education she received in Ipoh---a medium-sized town in Malaya---from highly qualified and dedicated nuns and teachers in the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus. Hers was a career carved out by Providence, as she `drifted' to various international centers of learning, depending on the sponsorship of scholarships available at the time. Her drive and passion for chemistry (actually with other attributes as well) allowed her to rub shoulders with some of the best minds in the field. Her association with numerous colleagues, mentors and scientists, unintentionally and unknowingly, laid the groundwork for a sort of global networking, which in turn influenced her career path in subtle yet significant ways. This proved immensely useful later as she balanced the rigorous demands of teaching, research and family. She has shown that it is not impossible for a woman to make a success of family and life in academia.
Indeed, her story will encourage young women venturing into science and academia. It also shows that developing countries---more than their developed counterparts---have a good deal to gain from their professional citizens by removing obstacles such as unduly early mandatory retirement and poor support for active researchers. It is a refreshing glimpse into the author's generation in science and academia and a repository of important insights for students and scientists in developing and emerging economies.
Early Memories; Start of School; On the Move - An Unsettling Two Years; Back to Normalcy; Pre-University and University; In the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; Postgraduate Studies in London; Beyond the Ph.D. and Chicago; A Beginning in Academia; Sabbatical Leaves; Research Reality in The Home Environment; Overseas Conference Participation and a Bit of Travel; In Service of the Profession; My First Retirement and a Doctor of Science; A Second Retirement and Beyond; Epilogue - Reflections; Appendices:List of Acronyms;Selected List of Journal Publications;Published Conference Abstracts and Proceedings;;