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Dr Tadyon’s generous donation


Where did my chemistry research funding come from?
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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As far as funding was concerned, as always, the Science Research Council, as it then was, had responsive funding – you put in applications for grants. If it was a good grant in the view of the committee, you were funded. You could get technical help, postgraduate fellows, instrumentation – and instrumentation was a very important part of it – but it didn’t of course cover the whole of the costs. And so we had to go to industry and at least at that stage, although I had some success in industry in the UK... I have to say that it was a lot easier to get funding from American sources than from British sources. I did get some money from ICI and from one or two other big firms but, at this stage, I think the majority of my funding was coming first from the American Air Force in Europe – they had undedicated funds which they gave. They said, ‘We like your work, we are happy to support anything you want to do’. There was no military connotation in it, and although actually some of it was of interest to them at that stage I wasn’t aware of it, I was just doing it for the chemical reasons. General Electric in Schenectady was also very interested, particularly in my solid state work, so they were funding that.

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: Research Councils UK, EPSRC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK, USA: ICI, Imperial Chemical Industries, US Air Force, General Electric Company, Schenectady

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011