Peter left school in 1948. Since the age of eleven he had been written off by the education establishment as boy with below average abilities. On his last day his science teacher asked him what he wanted to do with his life, young Peter said “I want to be a scientist.” His science teacher, unashamedly laughed in his face. Once he finally stopped his science teacher said “forget it, you don’t even have any qualifications!” Peter started his working life in a printing factory.

A year or two later, Peter read an article in a newspaper about a business designing rocket engines. He wrote to the editor and the editor suggested he write to the managing director of the company. Six weeks later, Peter had moved away from home town and began work in the rocket engine company. After two year’s military service, he studied physics and maths in evening classes. Three years later, Peter won a scholarship to university where he later became a professor. Fifty years on he was awarded the Nobel prize for his work in pioneering the MRI scan. Sir Peter Mansfield died last week at the age of 84, leaving a legacy consisting of not only his life’s work but also countless students and scientists that he had influenced and motivated along the way.

Have a good week