100 Years of organic chemistry symposium
In late 2012, 100 years of Organic Chemistry as a formal discipline at The University of Sydney will be celebrated.
On 31 October 1912, the Senate of The University of Sydney appointed a 26 year old Englishman to be the inaugural Professor of Pure and Applied Organic Chemistry in the University. It was both an auspicious and an inspired choice: auspicious because it heralded the development of organic chemistry as a major branch of Science within the University, and inspired because the 26 year old was Robert Robinson, later Sir Robert Robinson FRS OM, winner of the 1947 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He was recognised for his investigations of fundamental questions such as aromaticity and of the formation of complicated structures within the living plant, particularly the biogenesis of complex alkaloids.
Robinson returned to Britain in 1915 to take up the Chair in Organic Chemistry at the University of
Liverpool. He subsequently became Director of Research of British Dyestuffs Corporation and in turn held Professorships at University of St. Andrews, Manchester University, the University of London and at Oxford University from 1930 until 1955. Organic Chemistry at The University of Sydney has thrived over the century. Many hundreds of honours, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have been trained in Organic Chemistry and have contributed to important developments in Science. The successes of some of these graduates will be highlighted in forthcoming issues of this Newsletter.
A one-day reunion of the extended Organic Chemistry family is planned for Saturday, 3 November 2012. We hope that many former members and their families will be able to attend. Planned activities include a lunchtime barbecue, short talks from some former graduates of Organic Chemistry, a laboratory tour (which was your bench?), a display of posters of recent research and of historic memorabilia including the actual Nobel Prize diploma presented by King Gustav V of Sweden to Sir Robert Robinson in 1947.
Put the date in your diary now and watch out for further information. If you wish to receive regular updates regarding the reunion or have any further queries please email Professor Crossley at email@example.com
Maxwell J. Crossley FAA
Professor of Organic Chemistry