Blue plaque for John Bernal

Source: © Mick Sinclair/Alamy Stock Photo

Chemistry in Britain (May 2001) John Desmond Bernal, famous for his work on the tobacco mosaic virus, was honoured with an English Heritage Blue Plaque in London recently. The plaque was unveiled by his former student, Sir Aaron Klug (winner of the 1982 Nobel prize in chemistry), who described Bernal as ‘a visionary’. The plaque commemorates Bernal’s research (see Chemistry in Britain, April 2001, p56) in the field of crystallography and is situated outside the house where he spent the last years of his life: 44 Albert Street, London NW1.

Ed. Through its Chemical Landmark Scheme, the RSC recognises sites where the chemical sciences have made a significant contribution to health, wealth or quality of life. The blue hexagonal plaques are publically visible, and are intended to give everyone an insight into chemistry’s relevance to everyday life. The latest plaque to be unveiled by the RSC is to Sir Edward Frankland at the Lancaster Royal Grammar School in Lancaster. For more on Bernal’s work see the book J D Bernal:The sage of science (2005), reviewed in the September 2006 issue of Chemistry World.