20 years ago in Chemistry in Britain



An explosive moment in a lecture by Brian Shaw

20 years ago in Chemistry in Britain

The well-renowned lecture on explosives by Lt-Col Dr Brian Shaw was first performed to the Nottingham University Chemical Society in 1928. 

In appreciation of the pleasure that Brian has given to countless audiences, and to mark the 1988 Diamond Jubilee of his original lecture, we wish to create a Shaw Medal and prize to promote the role and encourage the development of scientific lecture demonstrations. 

Letter from Professor Gerald Pattenden, University of Nottingham (September 1987).

Ed:I attended one of Brian Shaw’s lectures in the 1970s and, although sitting on the back row, was still deafened by the bangs he created in what was a truly memorable and professional presentation.

Brian Shaw, a First World War hero and lecturer at the University of Nottingham, became the first recipient of the Shaw Medal, giving his famous lecture at a ceremony in Nottingham to coincide with his 90th birthday. He died in 

November 1999, aged 101.

For further information on Brian Shaw see  Education in Chemistry, November 2001, 158.

Subsequent winners of the Shaw Medal and prize are W Coates of the Royal Institution, London (1989), A J S Williams of University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1991), T F Palmer of University of Nottingham (1992), David Jones of University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1996), Ann Hubbard of Reigate College (1998), John Salthouse of University of Manchester (2000), David Pybus of ICI (2000), David Phillips of Imperial College London (2003) and Colin Baker of Bedford School (2006).