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.
Lennard-Jones was a theoretical chemist, and he was at that stage doing some world-shattering work on what is called molecular orbital theory. We needn't go in to that now, but I was interested in it because in fact theoretical chemistry did interest me. What I hadn't said earlier was that in my spare time I was doing... an MSc degree in Melbourne and being a tutor in Trinity College, I also attended some extra lectures and some of those were in pure mathematics; I actually got up, with Ray Martin, up to final – third-year – pure mathematics, so we did know a bit of mathematics; and I thought it would be useful to see if I could go to Lennard-Jones' lectures, and I learnt a lot from those. Later, as it transpired, I did a post-doctoral year with Lennard-Jones, and in the seminar then at the time was John Pople, whom you will recognise later. He went to America, got a Nobel Prize for his superb work not only in NMR but in theoretical chemistry.
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.
Melbourne University, Trinity College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge, USA, Nobel Prize, John Lennard-Jones, Ray Martin, John Pople