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Why collaborate with Alan Earnshaw?


Running out of time to write the textbook
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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I think that that was important, that I didn’t give, as early chapters, the theory, I gave the facts. And then interpreted the facts according to the best modern theory but... if it was appropriate... but didn’t emphasise the theory above the facts. Because it seemed to me that one wanted the substance of the subject, which as I’ve said before, the facts don’t change as often as the theories do, they help us with our current understanding.

So they are themes I think which make the book interesting. We were able to get, of course, a lot of good illustrations.

And after I’d got quite a way though the book, as I mentioned at the beginning, I found that time was running away. I’d taken sabbatical leave for half a year at one point to write it, but I was doing many other things as we’ve been talking about; international travel with the Chemical Society in the university in my research groups and so forth, so there was only a certain amount of time to put to this.

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: Chemistry of the Elements, Leeds University

Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011