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'The girls thrashed us'


'The Doc'
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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You ask if there were anecdotes about university. Well, let's flip from first year. It took me, of course, one year longer than normal because I was taking things part-time, but in final year we had to choose a preferred option. We still had to take all branches of chemistry, but we could concentrate, to some extent, on a particular branch. I chose inorganic, partly because I like making compounds, and partly because JS Anderson, whom I mentioned, was there. But there was one other lecturer who came after my first year, called Norman Lahey he came down from Queensland, an organic chemist who was a breath of fresh air after Bill Davies because he was excellent at giving lectures that you could take notes from. But he was also younger than some of the others, though they were probably only in their mid-30s I suppose, and 40s, but he came across as an approachable bloke. He was called The Doc, and if there was any problem we always asked The Doc.

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: The University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, JS Anderson, William Davies

Duration: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011