9 March 2016

Peter Mitchell and the Chemiosmotic Theory - A Story of the Difficulty of Introduction of A Radical Idea into the Scientific Mainstream

Organised by:

 SCI's London Group in partnership with the New York University in London

University of New York

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


All living cells require energy to survive. The energy can be provided by food, by light or, in diverse bacteria, by a myriad of possible environmental materials. These are used in large part to produce ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate. ATP is a stable and transportable intracellular energy source. The majority of ATP synthesis is usually associated with respiratory and photosynthetic processes that are catalysed by complex redox enzymes embedded in ion-impermeable lipid membranes. The way in which these redox reactions are coupled to ATP synthesis is quite different to classical enzymological processes because they are coupled indirectly through an intermediary energy-storing proton gradient that is formed across the membrane in which they are embedded.

This revolutionary 'chemiosmotic hypothesis' of the mechanism of such coupling was first postulated by Peter Mitchell in 1961. It took many years before it, and its ramifications, gained widespread acceptance as the chemiosmotic theory for which Mitchell received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1978, though even today some aspects of development of the ideas have remained controversial.

Refreshments will be served before and after the lecture.


Day 1 - 9th March 2016

Event Schedule
Event begins
Accessibility Grants

SCI accessibility grants are available to support SCI members with disabilities, long term health conditions, those who require a carer, and members who are nursing parents to attend SCI events. Download an application form to apply for a grant.

Venue and Contact

New York University

6 Bedford Square 
London, WC1B 3RA

SCI Comms Team

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7598 1594

Email: communications@soci.org

This is a FREE event but booking is required. Places are limited so early registration is advised.

Become an SCI Member and save on this and future events

See Membership Options

Sign up as an Event Member to join this event. SCI Full or Student Members receive discounts on event registrations


Additional Info


Prof Peter Rich 
Professor of Bioenergetics, Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London
More information about Prof Rich