the Francis Lions Memorial lecture program


The Francis Lions Memorial Lecture

Francis Lions graduated from The University of Sydney in 1923 with a double University Medal in chemistry and organic chemistry.  After completing his PhD at the University of Manchester under the guidance of Sir Robert Robinson he returned as a lecturer in 1926 and remained until his retirement (as Reader) in 1966. As a member of staff Lions inspired generations of students; he was noted for his teaching and prided himseld on lecturing without notes. He made major contributions (in collaboration with Frank Dwyer) to the field of coordination chemistry and multidentate metal ligands. Lions was also prominent in University affairs, being a Fellow of the Senate from 1949-1957, elected as a representative of the graduates.

The Francis Lions Fund was established in 1999 as a result of a generous donation and subsequent contributions from former students and colleagues.

Previous Francis Lions Memorial Lecturers

2000 Alan Sargeson (ANU)
2001 David Black (UNSW)
2002 Harry Goodwin (UNSW)
2003 Andy Hor (Singapore)
2004 Brice Bosnich (Chicago)
2005 Roeland Nolte (Nijmegen)
2006 Ian Rae (Melbourne)
2007 Max Lu (Queensland)
2008 Sally Brooker (University of Otago)
2009 Christine McKenzie (University of Southern Denmark)
2013 Professor Richard Keene (James Cook University, Australia)
2014 Professor Leone Spiccia (Monash University)


Francis Lions' daughter, Jenny Hawkins, wrote a book in 2010 called "Francis Lions: A Memoir". This book is restricted to School of Chemistry staff only. If you are a staff member and would like to borrow it please email Anne Woods at