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Sir Alan Battersby birthday tribute

Sir Alan Battersby:  90th birthday symposium and dinner

On Saturday 21st March, Professor Sir Alan Battersby’s milestone 90th birthday was marked with a symposium of reminiscences held at the Department of Chemistry, followed by a dinner at St John’s College. The event was attended by 170 guests, comprising former Battersby research group members and colleagues spanning Alan’s long career, not only in Cambridge but also at the Universities of Bristol (1954-62) and Liverpool (1962-69). The guests attended the event from eleven different countries, some travelling from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the US.  Prof Battersby’s first postdoc at the University of Bristol, Dr Harold Hodson, was also present at the event.

The speakers at the Symposium represented various perspectives on life as a Battersby group member including as a PhD student from the UK and from overseas, a postdoc from the UK and overseas, a departmental colleague and a member of technical staff.

The amusing after dinner speech at St John’s College was delivered by Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University and former Battersby group member.

Many of the participants had not met their former cohorts for many years if not decades and the event provided a great opportunity for people to become reacquainted and catch up on life stories.

Above all the day was a fitting tribute and a demonstration of the high regard held for a departmental colleague whose contribution to science continues even today as he enters his tenth decade.

Sir Alan Battersby was 1702 Chair of Organic Chemistry from 1988 - 1992, and is still very active in the Department.  


All photos courtesy of Chris Williamson.