Sir John Meurig Thomas, FRS, Hon FREng, Hon FRSE, was the 1920 Professor and Head of the Dept of Physical Chemistry for 9 years from 1978.
He then became Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratories London, before returning to Cambridge as Master of Peterhouse (1993-2002) during which he carried out much of his research with Prof BFG Johnson. He still pursues research in solid-state chemistry and popularises science (He was knighted in 1991).
He has had numereous awards and prizes including gold medals from the Royal Soc, ACS (Willard Gibbs), Italian Chem Soc (Natta) Stanford Univ (Linus Pauling), the Zewail gold medal for molecular research (2015) and the Blaise Pascal medal of the European Academy of Sciences (2014) for the chemistry of materials. A new mineral, meurigite, was named in his honour in 1995.