The intriguing title of a recent talk given to the Bakewell and District Probus Club by member Don Mackenzie, implied that his life and career has been one of indolence and passivity. Indeed, the first part of his talk, which dealt mainly with his school life, suggested that here was a very late developer, both academically and to a lesser extent in his sporting and recreational activities, with the exception of competitive swimming, where he was captain of the school team. However, as his talk progressed, it became clear that once he had found the things in life that really interested and motivated him – his career took off and, having gained a degree and a doctorate in his chosen field of geology, he became a lecturer and eventually occupied a senior position on the staff of the University of Derby. During his time there he was instrumental in the development of a computer-based system designed to test and assess the higher level skills of students in many disciplines which was eventually applied to test the competence of medical practitioners in the NHS up to Consultant level. This provided a more objective and fairer method of assessment than had previously been possible when the results of such tests could perhaps be
influenced by the inconsistencies and prejudices of the person carrying out the assessment.