The Info List - George Porter

George Hornidge Porter, Baron Porter of Luddenham OM PRS[1] PCS HRSE LLD (6 December 1920 – 31 August 2002) was a British chemist.[4] He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
in 1967.


1 Education and early life 2 Career and research

2.1 Awards and honours

3 Family 4 Publications 5 References 6 External links

Education and early life[edit] Porter was born in Stainforth, near Thorne, South Yorkshire. He was educated at Thorne Grammar School,[5] then won a scholarship to the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
and gained his first degree in chemistry. He was awarded a PhD
from the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
in 1949 for research investigating free radicals produced by photochemical means.[6] Career and research[edit] Porter served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. Porter then went on to do research at the University of Cambridge supervised by Ronald George Wreyford Norrish where he began the work that ultimately led to them becoming Nobel Laureates. His original research in developing the technique of Flash photolysis to obtain information on short-lived molecular species provided the first evidence of free Radicals. His later research utilised the technique to study the minutiae of the Light-dependent reactions of Photosynthesis, with particular regard to possible applications to a Hydrogen economy, of which he was a strong advocate. He was Assistant Director of the British Rayon Research Association from 1953–4, where he studied the phototendering of dyed cellulose fabrics in sunlight.[7] Porter became a professor in the Chemistry
department at the University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield
in 1954-55. It was here he started his work on Flash Photolysis with equipment designed and made in the departmental workshop. During this tenure he also took part in a television programme describing his work. This was in the "Eye on Research" series. Porter became Fullerian Professor of Chemistry
and Director of the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
in 1966. During his directorship of the Royal Institution, Porter was instrumental in the setting up of Applied Photophysics, a company created to supply instrumentation based on his group's work. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
in 1967 along with Manfred Eigen
Manfred Eigen
and Ronald George Wreyford Norrish.[8] In the same year he became a Visiting Professor at University College London.[8] Porter was a major contributor to the Public Understanding of science. He became president of the British Association
British Association
in 1985 and was the founding Chair of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). He gave the Romanes Lecture, entitled "Science and the human purpose", at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
in 1978; and in 1988 he gave the Dimbleby Lecture, "Knowledge itself is power". From 1990 to 1993 he gave the Gresham lectures in astronomy. Awards and honours[edit] Porter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society
(FRS) in 1960[1] and served as President of the Royal Society
President of the Royal Society
from 1985–1990. He was also awarded the Davy Medal
Davy Medal
in 1971, the Rumford Medal
Rumford Medal
in 1978, the Ellison-Cliffe Medal in 1991 and the Copley Medal in 1992. Porter also received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1971.[9] He was knighted in 1972, appointed to the Order of Merit
Order of Merit
in 1989,[10] and was made a life peer as Baron Porter of Luddenham, of Luddenham in the County of Kent, in 1990. In 1995, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Bath.[11] In 1976 he gave the Royal Institution
Royal Institution
Christmas Lecture on The Natural History of a Sunbeam.[12] Porter served as Chancellor of the University of Leicester
University of Leicester
between 1984 and 1995. In 2001, the university's chemistry building was named the George Porter Building
George Porter Building
in his honour. Family[edit] In 1949 he married Stella Jean Brooke. Publications[edit]

for the Modern World (1962) Chemistry
in Microtime (1996)


^ a b c Fleming, G. R.; Phillips, D. (2004). " George Porter
George Porter
KT OM, Lord Porter of Luddenham. 6 December 1920 - 31 August 2002: Elected F.R.S. 1960". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 50 (0): 257–283. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0017. ISSN 0080-4606.  ^ Weisskopf, V. F.; Eyring, H.; Eyring, E. M. (1967). "1. Physics". Science. 158 (3802): 745–748. Bibcode:1967Sci...158..745W. doi:10.1126/science.158.3802.745. PMID 4860395.  ^ Durrant, James Robert (1991). Transient absorption spectroscopy of photosystem two. spiral.imperial.ac.uk ( PhD
thesis). Imperial College London. hdl:10044/1/11455. OCLC 855696059. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.573962.  ^ Phillips, David (2002). "Obituary: George Porter
George Porter
(1920–2002)". Nature. 419 (6907): 578. Bibcode:2002Natur.419..578P. doi:10.1038/419578a. PMID 12374966.  ^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/77183.  ^ Porter, George (1949). The study of free radicals produced by photochemical means ( PhD
thesis). University of Cambridge.  ^ David Phillips The Biography of George Porter
George Porter
Archived 17 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. icpress.co.uk ^ a b " George Porter
George Porter
– Biography". Nobel Media. Retrieved 30 April 2011.  ^ webperson@hw.ac.uk. " Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". www1.hw.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-07.  ^ "BBC NEWS Science/Nature Obituary: Lord Porter". BBC Online. BBC News. 2 September 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2016.  ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". bath.ac.uk. University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.  ^ " George Porter
George Porter
– Famous Experiments", Ri Channel video, 6 December 1985

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: George Porter

Profile – Royal Institution
Royal Institution
of Great Britain The Life and Scientific Legacy of George Porter, World Scientific Publishing, 2006 Obituary in The Guardian, 3 September 2002 Biographical Database of the British Chemical Community, 1880–1970 "The Relevance of Science". George Porter. JASA (Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation) Vol. 28. March 1976. pp. 2–3.(Includes editorial responses from astronomer Owen Gingerich and theologian Bernard Ramm amongst others.)

Cultural offices

Preceded by William Lawrence Bragg Director of the Royal Institution 1966–1986 Succeeded by John Meurig Thomas

Academic offices

Preceded by Sir Alan Hodgkin Chancellor of the University of Leicester 1984–1995 Succeeded by Sir Michael Atiyah

v t e

Laureates of the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
in Chemistry


1901 Jacobus van 't Hoff 1902 Emil Fischer 1903 Svante Arrhenius 1904 William Ramsay 1905 Adolf von Baeyer 1906 Henri Moissan 1907 Eduard Buchner 1908 Ernest Rutherford 1909 Wilhelm Ostwald 1910 Otto Wallach 1911 Marie Curie 1912 Victor Grignard
Victor Grignard
/ Paul Sabatier 1913 Alfred Werner 1914 Theodore Richards 1915 Richard Willstätter 1916 1917 1918 Fritz Haber 1919 1920 Walther Nernst 1921 Frederick Soddy 1922 Francis Aston 1923 Fritz Pregl 1924 1925 Richard Zsigmondy


1926 Theodor Svedberg 1927 Heinrich Wieland 1928 Adolf Windaus 1929 Arthur Harden
Arthur Harden
/ Hans von Euler-Chelpin 1930 Hans Fischer 1931 Carl Bosch
Carl Bosch
/ Friedrich Bergius 1932 Irving Langmuir 1933 1934 Harold Urey 1935 Frédéric Joliot-Curie
Frédéric Joliot-Curie
/ Irène Joliot-Curie 1936 Peter Debye 1937 Norman Haworth
Norman Haworth
/ Paul Karrer 1938 Richard Kuhn 1939 Adolf Butenandt
Adolf Butenandt
/ Leopold Ružička 1940 1941 1942 1943 George de Hevesy 1944 Otto Hahn 1945 Artturi Virtanen 1946 James B. Sumner
James B. Sumner
/ John Northrop / Wendell Meredith Stanley 1947 Robert Robinson 1948 Arne Tiselius 1949 William Giauque 1950 Otto Diels
Otto Diels
/ Kurt Alder


1951 Edwin McMillan
Edwin McMillan
/ Glenn T. Seaborg 1952 Archer Martin
Archer Martin
/ Richard Synge 1953 Hermann Staudinger 1954 Linus Pauling 1955 Vincent du Vigneaud 1956 Cyril Hinshelwood / Nikolay Semyonov 1957 Alexander Todd 1958 Frederick Sanger 1959 Jaroslav Heyrovský 1960 Willard Libby 1961 Melvin Calvin 1962 Max Perutz
Max Perutz
/ John Kendrew 1963 Karl Ziegler
Karl Ziegler
/ Giulio Natta 1964 Dorothy Hodgkin 1965 Robert Woodward 1966 Robert S. Mulliken 1967 Manfred Eigen
Manfred Eigen
/ Ronald Norrish / George Porter 1968 Lars Onsager 1969 Derek Barton / Odd Hassel 1970 Luis Federico Leloir 1971 Gerhard Herzberg 1972 Christian B. Anfinsen
Christian B. Anfinsen
/ Stanford Moore / William Stein 1973 Ernst Otto Fischer
Ernst Otto Fischer
/ Geoffrey Wilkinson 1974 Paul Flory 1975 John Cornforth
John Cornforth
/ Vladimir Prelog


1976 William Lipscomb 1977 Ilya Prigogine 1978 Peter D. Mitchell 1979 Herbert C. Brown
Herbert C. Brown
/ Georg Wittig 1980 Paul Berg
Paul Berg
/ Walter Gilbert
Walter Gilbert
/ Frederick Sanger 1981 Kenichi Fukui
Kenichi Fukui
/ Roald Hoffmann 1982 Aaron Klug 1983 Henry Taube 1984 Robert Merrifield 1985 Herbert A. Hauptman
Herbert A. Hauptman
/ Jerome Karle 1986 Dudley R. Herschbach
Dudley R. Herschbach
/ Yuan T. Lee
Yuan T. Lee
/ John Polanyi 1987 Donald J. Cram
Donald J. Cram
/ Jean-Marie Lehn
Jean-Marie Lehn
/ Charles J. Pedersen 1988 Johann Deisenhofer
Johann Deisenhofer
/ Robert Huber
Robert Huber
/ Hartmut Michel 1989 Sidney Altman / Thomas Cech 1990 Elias Corey 1991 Richard R. Ernst 1992 Rudolph A. Marcus 1993 Kary Mullis
Kary Mullis
/ Michael Smith 1994 George Olah 1995 Paul J. Crutzen
Paul J. Crutzen
/ Mario J. Molina
Mario J. Molina
/ Frank Rowland 1996 Robert Curl
Robert Curl
/ Harold Kroto / Richard Smalley 1997 Paul D. Boyer
Paul D. Boyer
/ John E. Walker / Jens Christian Skou 1998 Walter Kohn
Walter Kohn
/ John Pople 1999 Ahmed Zewail 2000 Alan J. Heeger / Alan MacDiarmid / Hideki Shirakawa


2001 William Knowles / Ryoji Noyori / K. Barry Sharpless 2002 John B. Fenn / Koichi Tanaka
Koichi Tanaka
/ Kurt Wüthrich 2003 Peter Agre
Peter Agre
/ Roderick MacKinnon 2004 Aaron Ciechanover
Aaron Ciechanover
/ Avram Hershko
Avram Hershko
/ Irwin Rose 2005 Robert H. Grubbs
Robert H. Grubbs
/ Richard R. Schrock
Richard R. Schrock
/ Yves Chauvin 2006 Roger D. Kornberg 2007 Gerhard Ertl 2008 Osamu Shimomura
Osamu Shimomura
/ Martin Chalfie
Martin Chalfie
/ Roger Y. Tsien 2009 Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
/ Thomas A. Steitz
Thomas A. Steitz
/ Ada E. Yonath 2010 Richard F. Heck
Richard F. Heck
/ Akira Suzuki / Ei-ichi Negishi 2011 Dan Shechtman 2012 Robert Lefkowitz
Robert Lefkowitz
/ Brian Kobilka 2013 Martin Karplus
Martin Karplus
/ Michael Levitt
Michael Levitt
/ Arieh Warshel 2014 Eric Betzig
Eric Betzig
/ Stefan Hell
Stefan Hell
/ William E. Moerner 2015 Tomas Lindahl
Tomas Lindahl
/ Paul L. Modrich
Paul L. Modrich
/ Aziz Sancar 2016 Jean-Pierre Sauvage
Jean-Pierre Sauvage
/ Fraser Stoddart
Fraser Stoddart
/ Ben Feringa 2017 Jacques Dubochet
Jacques Dubochet
/ Joachim Frank
Joachim Frank
/ Richard Henderson

v t e

Presidents of the Royal Society

17th century

Viscount Brouncker (1662) Joseph Williamson (1677) Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
(1680) John Hoskyns (1682) Cyril Wyche
Cyril Wyche
(1683) Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
(1684) Earl of Carbery (1686) Earl of Pembroke (1689) Robert Southwell (1690) Charles Montagu (1695) Lord Somers (1698)

18th century

Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
(1703) Hans Sloane
Hans Sloane
(1727) Martin Folkes
Martin Folkes
(1741) Earl of Macclesfield (1752) Earl of Morton (1764) James Burrow
James Burrow
(1768) James West (1768) James Burrow
James Burrow
(1772) John Pringle
John Pringle
(1772) Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks

19th century

William Hyde Wollaston
William Hyde Wollaston
(1820) Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy
(1820) Davies Gilbert
Davies Gilbert
(1827) Duke of Sussex (1830) Marquess of Northampton (1838) Earl of Rosse (1848) Lord Wrottesley (1854) Benjamin Collins Brodie (1858) Edward Sabine
Edward Sabine
(1861) George Biddell Airy
George Biddell Airy
(1871) Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
(1873) William Spottiswoode
William Spottiswoode
(1878) Thomas Henry Huxley
Thomas Henry Huxley
(1883) George Gabriel Stokes (1885) William Thomson (1890) Joseph Lister
Joseph Lister

20th century

William Huggins
William Huggins
(1900) Lord Rayleigh (1905) Archibald Geikie
Archibald Geikie
(1908) William Crookes
William Crookes
(1913) J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
(1915) Charles Scott Sherrington
Charles Scott Sherrington
(1920) Ernest Rutherford
Ernest Rutherford
(1925) Frederick Gowland Hopkins
Frederick Gowland Hopkins
(1930) William Henry Bragg
William Henry Bragg
(1935) Henry Hallett Dale
Henry Hallett Dale
(1940) Robert Robinson (1945) Edgar Adrian (1950) Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
(1955) Howard Florey
Howard Florey
(1960) Patrick Blackett (1965) Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
(1970) Lord Todd (1975) Andrew Huxley
Andrew Huxley
(1980) George Porter
George Porter
(1985) Sir Michael Atiyah
Michael Atiyah
(1990) Sir Aaron Klug
Aaron Klug

21st century

Robert May (2000) Martin Rees (2005) Sir Paul Nurse
Paul Nurse
(2010) Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

v t e

Copley Medallists (1951–2000)

David Keilin
David Keilin
(1951) Paul Dirac
Paul Dirac
(1952) Albert Kluyver
Albert Kluyver
(1953) E. T. Whittaker
E. T. Whittaker
(1954) Ronald Fisher
Ronald Fisher
(1955) Patrick Blackett (1956) Howard Florey
Howard Florey
(1957) John Edensor Littlewood (1958) Frank Macfarlane Burnet
Frank Macfarlane Burnet
(1959) Harold Jeffreys
Harold Jeffreys
(1960) Hans Adolf Krebs
Hans Adolf Krebs
(1961) Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
(1962) Paul Fildes
Paul Fildes
(1963) Sydney Chapman (1964) Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
Alan Lloyd Hodgkin
(1965) Lawrence Bragg
Lawrence Bragg
(1966) Bernard Katz (1967) Tadeusz Reichstein
Tadeusz Reichstein
(1968) Peter Medawar
Peter Medawar
(1969) Alexander R. Todd
Alexander R. Todd
(1970) Norman Pirie (1971) Nevill Francis Mott (1972) Andrew Huxley
Andrew Huxley
(1973) W. V. D. Hodge
W. V. D. Hodge
(1974) Francis Crick
Francis Crick
(1975) Dorothy Hodgkin
Dorothy Hodgkin
(1976) Frederick Sanger
Frederick Sanger
(1977) Robert Burns Woodward
Robert Burns Woodward
(1978) Max Perutz
Max Perutz
(1979) Derek Barton (1980) Peter D. Mitchell
Peter D. Mitchell
(1981) John Cornforth
John Cornforth
(1982) Rodney Robert Porter
Rodney Robert Porter
(1983) Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
(1984) Aaron Klug
Aaron Klug
(1985) Rudolf Peierls
Rudolf Peierls
(1986) Robin Hill (1987) Michael Atiyah
Michael Atiyah
(1988) César Milstein
César Milstein
(1989) Abdus Salam
Abdus Salam
(1990) Sydney Brenner
Sydney Brenner
(1991) George Porter
George Porter
(1992) James D. Watson (1993) Frederick Charles Frank
Frederick Charles Frank
(1994) Frank Fenner (1995) Alan Cottrell
Alan Cottrell
(1996) Hugh Huxley (1997) James Lighthill
James Lighthill
(1998) John Maynard Smith
John Maynard Smith
(1999) Alan Battersby (2000)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 94485112 LCCN: n50022856 ISNI: 0000 0001 0999 365X GND: 133134261 SUDO