Chris Solomon

Episode 179,   Oct 10, 2023, 11:53 PM

My guest this week is Chris Solomon, a Physicist who worked at the University of Kent from 1995 until 2020. He specialized in the area of facial recognition and subsequently started a company called Vision Metric which has been his main focus.

We talk about the interdisciplinary nature of research, and what he learned from studying Physics, and how it didn’t directly affect the way he lived his life.

Chris was a good footballer as a boy and was into mathematics. He was born on Hayling Island near Portsmouth and grew up around Brighton.

We learn about his family background, including having a mother who had a TV career, presenting an afternoon show on Southern TV called House Party, and meeting Anita Roddick.

We find out about his interest in Slade and T-Rex in the 1970s and how we consumed music in those days. We learn about Chris’ interest in religion, too, and how he became a seeker. Direct experience is important for him. 

Buddhism was his first interest, and we learn about Chris’ fascination with the teaching of Gurdjieff and esoteric Christianity. Chris talks about why he didn’t always talk about it with colleagues, and whether there should be an academic dimension to spiritual matters.

We talk about the Michael Apted 7 Up Series where we see the patterns of our own lives unfold, and we learn about Chris’ undergraduate experience of doing Physics at Durham and how he was disappointed with the lack of wonder he encountered.

Then, at the end of the interview, Chris talks about how his memories are predominantly positive, and he relates an experience involving some rather difficult tenants which was lesson-learning. We also discover that his younger self imagined that he would end up being either a scientist or a builder.