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'Norm's famous Question 9'


Being an examiner for the Royal Institute of Chemistry
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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When I was involved I was the moderator of inorganic chemistry and the examiner was Geoff Wilkinson and anyone who has had any contact with Geoff Wilkinson realises that he’s not the easiest guy to moderate for. But, in fact, it worked out very well and he was setting good questions and we got on fine so there was no difficulty there. After, I think, two or maybe three years I became the examiner itself and so it was my responsibility to set the questions and then afterwards one has to write reports on each of the questions, how many people answered it, what the mean mark was and these reports were published and studied, of course, very closely by the institutes who were preparing the candidates for the exams so that they could modify if necessary what they were doing.

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: Geoff Wilkinson

Duration: 1 minute

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011