Professor Jeremy Harvey - inaugural lecture

Professor of Chemistry Professor Jeremy Harvey
School of Chemistry

This lecture took place on 31 October 2012 and is now available to listen to.

Jeremy Harvey - 31 October

Heading Towards Maturity? Progress in Chemistry 1986 - 2012

Jeremy entered university to study Chemistry in 1986.  In this Lecture, he will describe some of the research that he has been involved in during the years since then, attempting to set this work in the context of broader progress made across the field of Chemistry over the same period.  He will talk about the synthesis of new chemicals, the importance of catalysis in making molecules more efficiently, and the role that experiments and calculations have had in deepening our understanding of the properties of molecules including their reactivity. Finally, he will discuss the interfaces of chemistry with other disciplines, especially biochemistry.

Chemistry is sometimes described as being a mature science, with the adjective taken to have both positive and negative connotations. One of the less flattering interpretations of this description is that since reaching maturity, Chemistry has ceased to progress.  In the final part of his lecture, he will discuss the various ways in which progress - and lack of progress - might be defined for a scientific field, and will argue that in many important respects, Chemistry has not yet 'matured'.