Chemistry Professor's Unusual Hobby - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

April 24, 2009

Chemistry Professor's Unusual Hobby

College chemistry.    It's one of those classes most of us just hope to pass and move on.  "It's probably one of the most difficult subjects they'll take in the college careers and I just try to make the information digestible," said Auburn Montgomery professor Nick Thomas.

Thomas got an early start in the world of chemistry.    "I was a boy chemist at the age of 5 mixing paints together."   The Australian native came to Auburn Montgomery more than 20-years ago.     He started writing some encyclopedia type articles for the school when he discovered he kind of enjoyed this writing thing.  "I was never good at writing at school, I liked it but I was a terrible speller, and English was my worst subject."   Not anymore.   One day he did some research on a topic and checked to see if a paper on the east coast would be interested in an article.   They gave him a chance and now you can see the Nick Thomas byline all over the country.

Thomas does most of his articles on animals and some are science related.   He's had stories in the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and major papers in San Diego and Seattle just to name a few.    "Some people might think it's odd for a chemist to do this but I really enjoy it.   I usually come up with an idea and then have to find an editor who wants to do a story on the topic."

While Thomas is a self professed mad scientist, his dad was a newspaper man.   He wrote stories in Australia and Nick remembers hearing the typewriter banging away.   Some mornings dad would read his story to them from the paper.    That was a chapter from a long time ago, but it must have been a good read, because now, it's like father like son.   Nick's name has been in most of the big papers in the U.S. but not all of them.   "I'd love to see my name in the New York Times, I haven't yet, but that's my goal."  

Not too bad for a chemist who grew up struggling in English.  

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