Prof Peter Brimblecombe was born in Australia, but went to university in Auckland, New Zealand where he did a PhD on the aqueous chemistry of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. He is a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry and was appointed senior editor of Atmospheric Environment in 1990. He is convinced that environmental pollution is not merely a matter of environmental chemistry. The smells have to be smelt. Painting and poetry can be as informative as a scientific description when trying to understand the complexities of environmental problems. He admires detective writers; no crap and their hearts are in the right place. The title of his book The Big Smoke was meant remind us of Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep, so he was pleased when this academic book was reviewed as "reading like a thriller". Recently he has been thinking much about the representation air pollution in cinema in films such as Blade Runner.
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