In December 2001, I was fortunate enough to be seconded from my position in University College, London, for a period of 2 years, to take up the post of Director of the National Neuroscience Institute in Singapore. After over a quarter of a century at Queen Square, this seemed like an opportunity too good to miss, and so it has turned out. Working in a different society and medical system really blows the cobwebs away, and focuses also on what is good and bad about our own. It has indeed been a life-enhancing experience.
Singapore has a short history. It was a fishing village of 150 people when, in 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles founded a trading station there. The town was ceded to the East India Company in 1824, to the presidency of Bengal in 1830 and to the British government in 1851, and thrived as an entrepot. The invasion
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