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Background to my first work with boron trifluoride coordination compounds


Youth hostelling in the Lake District
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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So back in Cambridge again after the long vacation, the first change was my roommate, because I'd spent the first year in college sharing with Owen Singleton, who was a geology graduate from Melbourne University. In my second year, I was to share with Ray Martin, who's my great friend and colleague from Melbourne whom I'd done a Masters degree with under JS Anderson. But again, he'd come early, and there was a month to spare, or almost a month, and so we went walking with a couple of other Australian friends in the Lake District. I doubt there was a peak or a fell or a lake or a water, as they call them, that we didn't go to. We had a marvellous time there staying at youth hostels. I was pleased to realise that my Australian Youth Hostel [sic] could be stamped there and used. And we walked around the whole place, climbed all the notable peaks, stayed at youth hostels, had a wonderful time talking with other people and, again, getting to know more about England.

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: University of Cambridge, Melbourne University, Lake District, UK, Ray Martin, JS Anderson

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011