Royal Society of Chemistry


Web pages prepared by Dr G P Moss, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, England. E-mail:

Chairman: Dr J A Hudson, Graythwaite, Loweswater, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0SU, England. E-mail:

Secretary: Dr J Nicholson, 52 Buckingham Road, Hampton Middx TW12 3JG, England. E-mail:

Treasurer: Dr P J T Morris, 5 Helford Way, Upminster, Essex RM14 1RJ

Membership: Prof W P Griffith, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ, England, E-mail:]

Newsletter Editor: Dr Anna Simmons, Epsom Lodge, La Grande Route de St Jean, St John, Jersey, JE3 4FL

The Historical Group exists to encourage an interest in the history of chemistry and chemical industry among members of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and others. Membership is open to non-members of the RSC and embraces a wide range from those whose interest in the history of chemistry is a hobby to teachers of chemistry at all levels and professional historians.

The Group holds twice yearly meetings when academic papers are read and discussed. Summaries of papers read at these meetings are included in the Historical Group Newsletter along with reviews of recent books in the subject and news of other meetings and forthcoming events. The Newsletter is published twice yearly. Contributions of not more than 500 words on topics of current interest in the history of chemistry are invited for inclusion at the discretion of the Editor. The contents of the last issue, Summer 2016, are given below with a link to the PDF (880 KB).

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on "H.G.J. Moseley (1887-1915): A Lost Nobel Laureate?" will be held on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA [Click here for a map of the location of Burlington House which is labelled "The Royal Acad of Arts" (As well as the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House also contains the Geological Society, Linnean Society, Royal Astronomical Society and Society of Antiquaries)].

H.G.J. Moseley (1887-1915): A Lost Nobel Laureate?.


10.30Registration and coffee
10.55Welcome (Dr John Hudson, Chairman, Historical Group)
   First Session - Chair: Dr Michael Jewess (Historical Group)
11.00Clare Hopkins (Archivist, Trinity College, Oxford)
   Henry Moseley: The Formative Years
11.40Dr Neil Todd (Universities of Manchester and Exeter)
   Moseley in Manchester
12.20Royal Society of Chemistry Historical Group, AGM
12.40Lunch break
Lunch is not provided, but there is a café/restaurant at the RA, and there are plenty of sandwich bars, etc., nearby.
   Second Session - Chair: Dr David Payne (Imperial College, London)
14.00Counsellor Mr Cem Işık of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
14.20Dr Elizabeth Bruton (University of Manchester)
   Henry Moseley's Role as a Signals Officer; Signalling in the Gallipoli Campaign
15.10Prof. Robert Marc Friedman (University of Oslo)
   Henry Moseley and the Politics of Nobel Excellence
15.40Tea interval
   Third Session - Chair Prof. Peter Edwards, FRS (University of Oxford)
16.05Prof. Russell Egdell (University of Oxford)
   Moseley's Legacy
16.45Prof. Justin Wark (University of Oxford)
   Re-climbing Moseley's Staircase
17.25Concluding remarks: Prof. Russell Egdell
17.30Close of meeting


There is no charge for this meeting, but prior registration is essential. Please e-mail Professor John Nicholson This is expected to be a popular meeting. If having registered, you are unable to attend, please notify Professor Nicholson.

How to join the Historical Group:

If you are a member of the RSC you should contact the Membership Department (01223 432141) quoting your name and membership number. When you have done this please inform the Group's Membership Secretary, Prof W P Griffith, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ, England, E-mail:]. Those who are not qualified to join the RSC but who are interested in the history of chemistry are welcome to join the Group at an annual subscription of £12 per annum. Please send your name, address, phone number, email address and a cheque for £12 made out to "The Royal Society of Chemistry Historical Group" to Prof W P Griffith, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ, England. All members of the Group can download the Newsletter as a PDF. Hard copies are available if ordered in advance.

Other Useful Web pages

The Group maintains contact with colleagues in the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences.

The Library & Information Centre, Historical Chemistry Information Service.

The Chemical Heritage Foundation.

ACS Historical Division.

The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry.

Details of Nobel Prize winners; portraits; and other details.

List of Nobel Prize winners for Chemistry.

Chemical Heritage Foundation.

History of Pharmacy Forum.

The History of Chemical Engineering.

The Classic Chemistry Page.

Alchemy Home Page.

Historic samples and specimens from the Chemistry Department, Imperial College, London.

History of chemistry in Heidelberg

Science & Civilisation in China Project (Needham Research Institute).

There is a History of Chemistry Mail List or email

To send messages email

Historical Group Newsletter
and Summary of Papers

Short articles on the history of chemistry for the Newsletter are welcome and should be sent to the editor, Dr Anna Simmons, Epsom Lodge, La Grande Route de St Jean, St John, Jersey, JE3 4FL Please consult the Instructions for Authors.

Occasional Paper No 8.

‘the first example ... of an extensive scheme of pure scientific medical investigation’: Thomas Beddoes and the Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol, 1794 to 1799, Frank A.J.L. James

For a PDF copy of the Occasional Paper (1.4 MB) click here

No 70. Summer 2016 Newsletter

For a PDF copy of the Newsletter (880 KB) click here


From the Editor

  H.G.J. Moseley (1887-1915): A Lost Nobel Laureate ?


  The Historical Group on Breakfast in Dorset


  Proceedings of the International Workshop on the History of Chemistry
  Explore Early Chemical Developments through Nicholson's Journal

  Royal Institution


  The Chemical Society and the Royal College of Chemistry (Bill Griffith)
  Fighting Infections - A Chemical History (Alan Dronsfield and Pete Ellis)s
  William Ramsay's Pli Cacheté of 1894 (Alwyn Davies)

  William H. Brock, The History of Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction (Hattie Lloyd)
  Masanori Kaji, Helge Kragh and Gábor Palló (eds.), Early Responses to the Periodic System (John Nicholson)
  Otto Meth-Cohn, The Nearly Man (Alan Dronsfield)
  C.N.R. Rao and Indumati Rao, Lives and Times of Great Pioneers in Chemistry (Lavoisier to Sanger) (Bill Griffith)
  Peter Reed, Entrepreneurial Ventures in Chemistry: The Muspratts of Liverpool, 1793-1934 (Anna Simmons)

  The Atom and the Molecule: A Symposium Celebrating Gilbert N. Lewis (Henry Rzepa)

  Plaques honouring Sir John Cornforth at the Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne
  Sir John Cornforth AC CBE FRS




Editor's Note

Contents of previous Newsletters (1996-2015)

PDFs of previous Newsletters (2010-2015)

Biographies of Chemists including Confusing Names 1-3 from Newsletters 1998-9

Last update 11 November, 2016

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