While teaching at Coal Hill School, Ian Chesterton taught a student science, but by the 21st century he was unable to recall whether the student was called Cedric or Sydney. According to Ian, the student showed promise in science, regularly asking questions about the subjects discussed.

On one occasion, Ian taught his class about Alexander Fleming and the discovery of penicillin. This student wanted to know if other moulds could affect bacteria, and so Ian helped the student to set up an experiment to test this, growing moulds on different food and culturing bacteria on different petri dishes in the student's own time. At the final experiment, another boy told the student the expected result in the experiment, having read it in an encyclopaedia. From that point, the student's interest in science was lost, teaching Ian that one should "never mess with people's dreams". (AUDIO: The Transit of Venus)

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