UCL News


UCL in the News: Top chemistry team joins UCL

24 April 2007

It emerged this week that the director of the [Royal Institution's] Davy Faraday lab, the internationally respected chemist Professor Richard Catlow, is leaving for UCL - and taking his prestigious research team of between 30 and 40 scientists with him.

Catlow has been at the Royal Institution for 18 years. …

Catlow, who has been head of chemistry at UCL for the past four years, as well as director of the Davy Faraday lab at the RI, describes his departure as "amicable". And Baroness Susan Greenfield, the RI's director, says the same.

The RI is undergoing extensive building works at the moment and, as a result, the Davy Faraday lab has temporarily moved to UCL. Catlow says he is leaving because he has become increasingly dependent on UCL's facilities. He says: "This is not a lack of confidence in the Royal Institution. I have discussed this amicably with Susan. There is no acrimony, and there are no personal differences between us. I have been increasingly dependent on facilities at UCL. My research project has also evolved, and it means it is better for me to be at UCL." …

Professor Malcolm Grant, who is Provost of UCL and on the council of the RI, says: "There is no predatoriness on our side at UCL. Richard Catlow is a professor and the head of chemistry at UCL. He had to vacate the premises at the RI, and that has worked out so well, he is going to be at UCL permanently.

"The RI worked out what the best use of space was, and we have come to the view that it is best not to use the RI lab for chemistry. I am not sure that some of the members of the RI have the full picture yet." …

Jessica Shepherd, 'The Guardian'