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'Don't be a bloody fool, put in for Honours!'


Being valued as a lab technician
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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I had an enormous advantage because although I'd missed the final year of school, I was already doing research, and I couldn't have been more fortunate in my, well... they weren't supervisors, I was a technician just out of school. But Abe and Maurice treated me as one of their group. If I had a suggestion to make it wasn't laughed at, it was either mildly said, 'Yes, we'll think about it' or, 'That might be a good idea let's try it'. So I was a junior research assistant essentially, though I hadn't really begun even to study at the university. The other thing, and I want to put this in because if there's one thing that comes out of these memories that we're talking about Brian, it's this; that I would not be where I am today if it had not been for Abe Yoffe. Let me tell you the story.

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 Melbourne, Abe Yoffe, Maurice Mulcahy

Duration: 1 minute, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011