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Department of Chemistry


We are very sad to be sharing the news that our colleague Dr Stuart Warren passed away on Sunday 22nd March.

Stuart retired in 2006 having spent almost his entire academic career here in Cambridge, including his years as a student.

He had studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College and stayed here to complete his PhD (with Malcolm Clark) before moving to Harvard to conduct postdoctoral research.

He then returned to Trinity as a research fellow before taking up a post at Churchill College as a teaching fellow in 1971. Stuart remained in the Department of Chemistry as a lecturer and researcher, and author of chemistry textbooks, until his retirement in 2006.

Head of Department Dr James Keeler says: "It is hard to overestimate Stuart's influence on generations of chemists, both here in Cambridge and well beyond.

"His dedication to teaching - and his influential textbooks - really changed the agenda. They are, without doubt, his important and enduring legacy to the whole chemistry community. 

"Many of Stuart's former PhD students have gone on to fill leading roles in academia and in industry. And his presence in the Department had a wider influence on all who came into contact with him.

"We mourn the loss of a valued colleague, a dear friend and mentor to many, and a truly outstanding figure in organic chemistry.

  • You can read a light-hearted interview with Stuart from 2009 in the Nature Chemistry blog 'thescepticalchymist' here: Reactions - Stuart Warren
  • The picture below shows Stuart (far right) with his colleagues Ian Fleming (left) and Tony Kirby (centre).

Emeritus Professors Ian Fleming and Tony Kirby with Dr Stuart Warren

Revisiting Stuart Warren's classic textbook

For more than 40 years, Chemistry undergrads have worked their way, pencil and paper in hand, through an iconic guide to synthetic chemistry. Here, Dr Tim Dickens - who recently revised it - talks about why he thinks the book is still essential reading.