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Event Preview: Hurter Lecture - Professor Peter Licence. ‘Chemistry in vacuo; Suck it and See’

Ferdinand Hurter

11 Aug 2015

The SCI Liverpool and North West Group will be holding the Hurter lecture on the 20 October 2015 at Bangor University.

Amongst the many eminent scientists associated with SCI in the Liverpool and North west region was Dr Ferdinand Hurter; one of the founding members of SCI. Employed in Widnes at the Gaskell-Deacon Works Dr Hurter worked on an economic process for manufacturing chlorine on a large scale. He was one of the first to apply science to what at the time was considered alchemy.

One of his hobbies was photography. Along with his friend Charles Driffield, he applied science to photography and was the first to establish a way to correlate light exposure to developed silver density, which became known as H-D curves. They are still used today, over 120 years later, where the standardised curves are more recognisable to us as the ASA and DIN ratings.

He later became chief chemist at United Alkali Company where he established their Central Research Laboratory. After his death in 1898, his friends wanted to establish something tangible to perpetuate his memory. Through SCI a trust was set up to endow a lecture in his honour. The lecture has occurred regularly in the North West region ever since.

For the 2015 Hurter Lecture we are honoured to have Prof Peter Licence give the lecture ‘Chemistry in vacuo; Suck it and See’. Peter is alumnus of Bangor University where he obtained his BSc and PhD in synthetic organic chemistry. Peter is now Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham and is Director of the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory, Faculty of Science.

The event is by invitation only and will be attended by final year Chemistry and PhD students and senior academics from the University, industrialists from chemical and other scientific companies who are members of SCI and local policy makers. The evening will also include a dinner and SCI’s LNW Group annual prize-giving.

In the Liverpool and NW Region we have a strong team of committed members of SCI who organise local events such as the Hurter Lecture. We invite anyone interested to come along and join with us in this rewarding way.

Dr Trevor Rhodes
Vice Chair of SCI Liverpool and North West Committee

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