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The Royal Institute's 'travelling circus'


Creating Chemistry Centres for school teachers
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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Well, as I say, school teachers had problems too and they felt isolated, at least many of them I got the impression did. And so what I did was start the concept of Chemistry Teachers’ Centre and this I did, I was a member of the Royal Institute of Chemistry as was in those days, and they were very interested in the training of chemists and the teaching of chemists through practical work in technical colleges and so forth, but they were also interested in the school syllabus and they backed my starting of the Chemistry Teachers Centres. And our idea was to have a... period, I think we met once a month in the university. All teachers of chemistry within a 30-mile radius, which went down to Durham and up to Morpeth and so forth in the Newcastle area were invited to join and many did. And we talked together, it was semi-social... there was a lecture on a particular topic, particularly new chemistry that was going on, or how to approach teaching. They had subjects that they put… but the important thing was that they were interacting with the staff of the chemistry department, particularly the inorganic chemistry because that was the area that I was most involved in, and that was an enormous success.

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: Chemistry Teachers’ Centre, Royal Institute of Chemistry, Durham, Morpeth, Newcastle

Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011