Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.
Being in Cambridge, the opportunity was far too great to miss, of going to the lectures of people one had only read about in Australia, but had never met and never seen. Now, I'll reel off a few names, and then I'll tell you about the lectures that I was going to. One of these, of course, was Emeléus himself, whom I had a great respect for, and was getting to know, and he was giving a course of lectures on 'the non-metals' he called it, as I remember. I turned... I asked him if I could turn up to them, out of courtesy, and he said, 'Yes of course, but don't feel you've got to turn up, you'll know it all'. And I said, 'No, I'd like to see how you approach it'. And I'm glad I did because, though of course having graduated in chemistry, I knew a lot of it, and having read Emeléus and Anderson, it was very interesting to see how Emeléus put it across, so I was on a good learning curve there as well, to see how he did it. And he was enormously impressive, with his lecturing style, and his anecdotes, and how he made it interesting, and actually did experiments as well, in some of the, some of the lectures. He was one.
Title: Attending the lectures of the Cambridge notables: Harry Emeléus
Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.
Cambridge University, Australia, Harry Emeléus, JS Anderson