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Reading skills - AGAINST THE ODDS

Klausimas #1

     Chris Evans is Britain's biotech boy wonder. Aged 38, he has started about ten companies, among them three biotech high-fliers -Enzymatix, Chiroscience and Celsis - and has plans for dozens more. 'As soon as I have an idea, I'm already thinking about what I'm going to do with it,' says Evans. 'I think very commercially.' Indeed, he doesn't believe there is such a thing as 'pure' science.
     Evans did his PhD at the University of Hull in two years and complains that his postdoc years were a 'waste of time' in terms of lost income. After just two years working in other people's biotech companies, ambition drove him to set up his own. He was 29. These days, Evans works every day from 7 a.m. till 1 a.m. which leaves very little time for joyrides in his Aston, Ferrari or any of his eight sports cars. But at least he's his own boss. 'I can't stand working for other people,' he says.
     Although he's raised more than £120 million from City investors -more than any other British scientist, he reckons - he didn't always know the ins and outs of finance. To educate himself, he borrowed other people's business plans and made friends with financiers. He thinks scientists are too much worried about their own genius. 'That's all nonsense," he says. "It's the money that allows it all to happen.'
     Evans doesn't believe that scientists are not respected in this country. 'I have a higher profile because I am a scientist,' he insists. 'My audiences are captivated by the ideas, how they are applied and how I make money out of them.'
     He criticises what he calls British conservative jealousy. 'As soon as you become reasonably financially successful, people insist you can't be a good scientist', he says. 'People in Britain want people like me to fail.'
     This is unlikely: today he is worth at least £50 million. And he is aiming to double his wealth by the time he reaches 40.
against the odds - despite strong opposition or disadvantages

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