2017 Storytime Pledge – Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty

Saturday, 16 December 2017

As part of his #StorytimePledge campaign, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has challenged everyone to share a great book with a special child over the summer holidays.

We’ll be sharing Storytime Pledges from notable Australian scientists here all week – check back regularly for updates!

Storytime Pledge day 3 – Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty

Name: Peter Doherty

I grew up to be: A veterinary pathologist: but got lost along the way and ended up as an MD (mouse doctor) with a Nobel Prize in Medicine and, because of that, the chance to write my own books

Recommended book: Almost any of the Biggles books, by Captain WE Johns

Reason:The reason I read them? Standing on my grandparents back landing as an under 10 year old, I watched the City of Brisbane CMF Squadron front-line Mustang fighters and DeHaviland Tiger Month biplane trainers doing loops and bumps from Archerfield Airport.

Reason to read them to a kid? Good possibility to share hamming it up and make engine, machine gun and falling bomb/explosion noises. There’s also a great villain (Von Stalheim) in the Biggles series, but would need to skip the more than vaguely racist and socially pompous bits. And the Biggles books provide a great lesson in writing: someone told the author, former WW1 flyer Captain WE Johns, that you should never repeat a verb in following sentences, so there are wonderful sequences like: “said Biggles”, “expostulated Biggles”, “quoth Biggles”, “exclaimed Biggles”…pure joy!

I pledge to read to: Hugo: but he might tell me to get lost, as he reads for himself, and is well into Andy Griffiths and Harry Potter.

Peter Doherty Storytime Pledge
Last updated: Monday, 06 July 2020