18 November 2014

Robert Angus Smith, Acid Rain and the 'Monster Nuisance of All'

Organised by:

SCI's London Group in partnership with UCL's Chemical Physical Society

University College London, London, UK

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In 1859 Robert Angus Smith (1817-1884) became the first person to use the term acid rain. Soon after, in 1864 Angus Smith was appointed the first Inspector of the Alkali Inspectorate, established to control pollution from industrial chemical processes, including 'acid gas' or the 'monster nuisance of all' as Lyon Playfair called it, from the Leblanc alkali process. Later, pollutants from other processes were regulated so that by 1956 the Inspectorate was responsible for 1,794 processes in England and Wales and 116 processes in Scotland. Many of the principles laid down by the Inspectorate under Angus Smith remain to the present day. 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Inspectorate and it now operates as HM Inspectorate of Pollution as part of the Environment Agency.

This talk will review Robert Angus Smith's role as a civil scientist and the circumstances of these reforming events.


Peter Reed, Independent Researcher

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Venue and Contact


Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ 


SCI Communications

Tel: 0207 598 1594

Email: Communications@soci.org


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Exhibition and Sponsorship

An exhibition will take place alongside the conference for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. Please email conferences@soci.org for further information and prices. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.