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The speaker's personal background and some reminiscences. The ten years as Chairman of the British Agricultural Research Council. A visit to Shell's Laboratories and how that changed his life. Comparing three different sorts of scientific activity in the United Kingdom: in a top University, in civil Government research, and research in big industry. Some differences. Basic and applied research; the interchange between them. The enormous range of subjects on which research and development are carried out at Shell. The main problem for the research administrator. What the speaker might do on retirement.