a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


University must not produce matriculated sponges!


Tricks to engage students with learning
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

We designed... essay subjects where the student had to think about it. And one other little trick I introduced at that stage was I found that a student got more interested in a subject if they felt they had a proprietary right to that particular one. So, instead of saying write an essay on the chemistry of mercury, let us say, I would have, make a case for including element... the element mercury, in the syllabus of chemistry; why would anyone want to learn it? And so he was committed, or she was committed, to thinking why it was important and automatically then learnt a good deal about the chemistry of the element.

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.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

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.

Tags: students, essay, teaching style, chemistry

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011