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Arriving in Cambridge


Harry Emeléus
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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So, just like my luck with Abe Yoffe, taking First Class, and then working hard through my thing, and being initiated into research, and his research group, I again hit the jackpot with Harry Emeléus, because a more distinguished inorganic chemist you wouldn't meet, a more gentle and lovely man, if I can put it that way, he really was a beautiful person. He had a sharp side, one knew if one had broken things, and so forth. But, by and large, he was very generous, very helpful, and what is of course always the sign of a good research director, he left you alone to do your own thing, if you could do your own thing. If you got into trouble and said, 'Gosh, what about this?' and he'd just sort of say, well, have you thought of this, or what about that, and well, I think something, somewhere, had something to say about that, and you'd go and look it up. But, by and large, you just went in and did the work.

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: Abe Yoffe, Harry Emeléus

Duration: 1 minute, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011