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Martin Nicholson (born 1954 in Westminster, London) was educated at St Albans School in Hertfordshire and Nottingham University. After a brief spell working in the food industry Martin became a college lecturer based in Somerset and later in Northamptonshire.
Although he had a successful career as a teacher he is probably best known for the 25 years+ he served as a school governor and for the ground-breaking work he carried out in the use of on-line archives within amateur astronomy and social history.
Martin was one of the first amateur astronomers to see the potential of remote access astronomy. It is testimony to his determination that what was initially regarded with great scepticism by the astronomical establishment has now become standard practice for most serious enthusiasts.
Much the same can be said for his pioneering work in the twin hobbies of stamp and postal history collecting. Almost to a man the people at the top of the hobby regarded the Internet as a passing fad that would have no lasting impact on their hobby and customer service, particularly in the field of philatelic exhibiting, as an irrelevancy. It took high profile campaigning by a small group of like-minded enthusiasts to move the hobby forward.
Currently Martin is opposing the increasing spread of censorship within amateur and pro-am astronomical groups. In December 2011 he said, "Amateur astronomers need to face up to the twin threats posed by the move away from the long established principle of first to publish gets the credit coupled with the current tendency for society officers to regard any comments other than effusive praise as a sign of disloyalty."