David Pilbeam

My first faculty teaching position was at Cambridge University in 1965. The following year I applied for research funds from a non-UK source (it might have been a NATO Fellowship) in order to do some work with European fossil collections. Early in 1967, I was shocked to receive a rejection letter (I have no copy), the first in my academic career and a major blow to my strong ego (colleagues and friends might well add that this seems to have suffered little diminution); so shocked indeed that I thought seriously of abandoning an academic career entirely. An indication of my level of seriousness is that I obtained application forms for late entry into the British Civil (Foreign) Service. But faced with going through a substantial application process I invested some uncharacteristically introspective time thinking about my future, and ultimately decided to stick with paleontology. The rest, as they say….  I’m glad I stayed the course!