Learned Society of Wales lecture - William Grove: Wales’s Most Famous Scientist?
Lecture title: William Grove: Wales’s Most Famous Scientist?
Speaker: Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas FLSW Hon.FRSE Hon.FREng FRS, Cambridge University
Date: Friday, 2 December 2011
Venue: The Grove Lecture Theatre, Swansea University
Event summary: William Robert Grove (1811-1896) was a physical scientist who is known as “the father of the fuel cell”. His pioneering research on fuel cell technology and on the conservation of energy was sufficiently groundbreaking and renowned for him to become a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1840. Born in Swansea, he was also a founder of what became the Royal Institution of South Wales in 1838. On these grounds, Grove is a candidate for consideration as one of Wales’s most famous scientists. However, is such as accolade deserved? A lawyer by training, Grove resumed his legal career at the height of his scientific fame and did not pursue his research as a physical scientist thereafter. In terms that are intelligible to non-scientists and interested lay persons, the speaker will attempt to assess the significance of Grove’s contribution to the world of science. It is particularly appropriate that, in the International Year of Chemistry and in the two-hundredth anniversary of Grove’s birth, we ponder Grove’s claim to be Wales’s most famous scientist.
Speaker information: Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas FLSW Hon.FRSE Hon.FREng FRS is a world-leading chemist renowned for his work in catalysis. He is a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the national academies of Hungary, Poland, Spain, India and the Engineering Academy of Japan. The recipient of numerous national and international prizes, he also holds honorary doctorates from twenty universities. He was formerly Head of Chemistry at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1969-1978), Head of the Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Cambridge (1978- 1996), Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1986-1991), and Master of Peterhouse (1993-2002). He is now Honorary Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, Cambridge.
The Learned Society of Wales is a new national body, launched in May 2010, which is dedicated to the recognition and promotion of scholarship of international quality in all the major established disciplines of learning. For more information, visit www.learnedsocietywales.ac.uk.
The President of the Society, Sir John Cadogan CBE DSc FRSE PLSW FRS, will take the chair. The event is free and open to anyone. The Society is grateful to Swansea University for hosting this event and to the Royal Society of Chemistry for supporting this lecture.
For further information about the event, contact Dr Lynn Williams, Chief Executive of the Society (firstname.lastname@example.org).