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I taught the senior students


Land grant universities
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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The type of institution that I visited was called a land grant university, and it’s worth perhaps just mentioning this wonderful institution which they have in America which was instituted in the mid-19th century, I guess, as an act of congress, and it granted land to the evolving states of America. As the western civilisation people – the whites, if you like – were moving further and further west and occupying more and more of the country, universities followed and they were funded in part – apart from the private institutions which existed – by land grant universities. A large tract of land was granted to the universities to use and the profits from that land would be used to fund a university. These are often large institutions, by the then standards in England, instead of 2000 or 3000 or 4000 or maybe 8000, at most, students in the university there would be 20,000 or 30,000 or 40,000 students in huge areas. So that is an important aspect of American universities that I learnt and was very important.

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: USA, Land-grant university

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011