a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


'One must never show one’s tongue in Japan'


Chemistry in Japanese is ‘magical change’
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

And it was very interesting that the students I found, could understand English, their perception of English was very good, far greater than the Japanese, than the Chinese that I was speaking about in an earlier part. But there were some words of course, and key words, which would have been unfamiliar and then Takeda would write up a symbol on the…

As you probably know the Japanese is a symbolic language, they have... well there’s also a phonetic part of it, but the characters that are borrowed from the Chinese, express an idea. And the word for chemistry is called magical change; that is the symbol for chemistry.

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: Japan, China, Masuo Takeda

Duration: 55 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011