Moore was perhaps the last in the great British tradition of significant contributions to science by distinguished amateurs, and was fiercely proud of his amateur status.
I wonder what academic bureaucrats of today would make of Sir Patrick Moore’ CV if he ever applied for professorship. Moore never went to the university (he famously refused a government grant to study at Cambridge), let alone wrote a Ph.D. thesis. So what. Dennis Barker wrote in The Guardian:
With one exception after his teaching days — his directorship of Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland (1965—68) — Moore was never an employee.Even better.
I first learned about Moore from Англия, a British magazine published (in Russian) in Soviet times. I remember the black and white photo of him by the grand piano, the caption saying that Moore is an accomplished musician possessing perfect pitch. Back then, I thought he was some sort of English eccentric. Many years later, I saw him on the BBC. Yes he was an archetypal English eccentric all right, and amazingly brilliant at that. He joined the RAF during World War II; he met Yuri Gagarin and appeared in Doctor Who. He was the world’s longest-serving TV presenter — and, briefly, the finance minister for the Monster Raving Loony Party. According to Wikipedia, “as a pianist, he once accompanied Albert Einstein playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns on the violin”. He wrote hundreds of books, including the one called Bureaucrats: How to Annoy Them. So I think his application would not be successful.