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Ken gained his Life Science PhD "Changes in Protein Synthesis in Rat Brain Regions During Exposure to a New Visual Experience" in 1974, only the second graduation year for the OU. Ken’s childhood seemed a long way from the academic career he pursued in adulthood. Living in a pit village in County Durham with no gas or electricity and an outside toilet, sharing the one bedroom with his family of five until moving to a council house at aged 12. He started work at 15, and at 17 he joined the RAF. Eventually he was encouraged to take O and A levels and then a BEd at Manchester University with the main subjects in Chemistry and Biol...ogy. To his surprise he was offered a PhD attached to a scholarship with Professor Steven Rose at the OU after applying through an advert in the New Scientist. He went on to be part of the original Brain Research Group set up by Professor Rose and was thrilled to be involved in this cutting-edge neuroscience and be involved in the politics of the IQ debate. Ken’s life-changing academic career continued with a first job at the National Child Development Centre in London followed by a job at the OU’s School of education after his PhD, becoming the first acting director of its Centre for Human Development. Meanwhile Ken was engaging in prolific research and writing, becoming expert in the brain’s intelligence systems and their evolution. Ken’s passion for scholarship and scholarly values and its innate democratic process, and his subsequent disillusionment with how he felt that universities had been made to prioritise finances over scholarship led him to take early retirement in 2003 and focus on the pure scholarship that he loves. He has since written about 40 papers for scientific journals about the evolution of intelligence systems. He describes his OU PhD as transforming his life from that of a passive student to one of an active scholar, and that he has tried his best to maintain these values throughout his life.
Metadata describing this person
Name: Dr Ken Richardson
Gender: Male
Project person ID: phd_009
Event: Awarded PhD, 1973
Thesis title: Changes in protein synthesis in rat brain regions during exposure to a new visual experience