UCL News


Sir William Ramsay... 100 years on

18 May 2004

One hundred years have passed since UCL's Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) became the first British scientist to win the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the 'noble' or inert gases.

Sir William Ramsay

Sir William was Professor of Inorganic Chemistry from 1887 until his retirement in 1913. Between 1885 and 1890, he published several notable papers on the oxides of nitrogen and on the discovery of argon, helium, neon, krypton and xenon; collectively known as the 'noble gases'. To celebrate this significant centenary, UCL is hosting a series of events as a fitting tribute to one of modern science's true innovators.

To begin the centenary's programme of events, UCL's Department of Chemistry and the Ramsay Memorial Fellowships Trust will be co-hosting a Centenary Memorial Dinner at UCL on 3 June 2004. Guests at the dinner will include past and present Ramsay Fellows; members of the Ramsay Trustees and Ramsay Advisory Council; former and current sponsors of Ramsay Fellowships; representatives from universities that have hosted Ramsay Fellows and eminent figures from the world of science. Speaking at the event will be Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Harry Kroto FRS.

Ramsay Memorial Fellowships are awarded to advanced students of chemical research who have shown outstanding merit and are awarded by the Ramsay Memorial Fellowships Trust, which was instituted in 1920. This year the trust will be marking the centenary of Ramsay's Nobel Prize by awarding a number of special Centenary Fellowships, which will be presented to the recipients at the dinner.

To find out more about the department and its history use the links below.

Department of Chemistry
History of Chemistry