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Colin Eaborn

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Title: Colin Eaborn  
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Subject: List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1970, University of Leicester, Bangor University, List of Fellows of the Royal Society D,E,F
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Colin Eaborn

Colin Eaborn
Born (1923-03-15)15 March 1923
Died 22 February 2004(2004-02-22) (aged 80)
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields organometallic chemistry
Institutions Bangor University
University College, Leicester
Sussex University
Alma mater Bangor University
Known for Work structuring the Sussex University, 'Organosillicon Compounds
Notable awards Frederick Stanley Kipping Award (1964)
Organometallic Award (1974)
Ingold Award (1976)
Main Group Award (1988)

Colin Eaborn FRS[1] (15 March 1923 – 22 February 2004) was a British scientist and academic noted for his work in establishing the Sussex University School of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences. Born to a joiner, he gained first-class honours from Bangor University and, after research during the Second World War, accepted a position as an assistant researcher at University College, Leicester in 1947. In 1951 he won a Rotary Foundation Fellowship, which allowed him to spend a year working at the University of California, Los Angeles with Saul Winstein and his research group, and in 1960 published the seminal Organosilicon Compounds.

In 1961 he was appointed as a science professor at the newly created Sussex University. There he introduced unconventional lecture and degree structures, eventually attracting a staff which, by the mid-1970s, included two Nobel Laureates and seven Fellows of the Royal Society. For his work he was himself made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1970, and served on the Society Council for two terms during the 1970s and 80s. After retiring from active work in 1988, Eaborn died on 22 February 2004 in Brighton.

Early life

Eaborn was born to a joiner and his wife, with the family moving to Wales when he was six months old to find work. He and his sister went to the Holt Endowed School, the local village school, and from 1934 he studied at Ruabon Grammar School. In 1941 he took up a place at Bangor University to study Chemistry, intending to become a teacher after graduation.[2] While there he met Joyce Thomas, an English student, and the two married in 1949. At Bangor, Eaborn obtained First Class Honours, and his studies were greatly assisted by the appointment of the noted chemist Ted Hughes in 1943. After graduation, Eaborn continued to work at Bangor under legislation which required graduating scientists to work towards the war effort.[2]

Academic work

In 1947, Eaborn became an assistant researcher at [4]

In 1961, Eaborn accepted an appointment as one of the first four science professors of [3]

Eaborn introduced "crash courses", where a subject would be crammed into a period of weeks rather than spread out over a year, and served as the first Dean of the School of Molecular Sciences until 1968, and from then until 1972 the first Pro-vice-chancellor for Science. He retired in 1988, and died in his sleep after a long illness on 22 February 2004.[4]

Recognition and other work

Eaborn became the first non-American to receive the Frederick Stanley Kipping Award of the [3]


  1. ^ Smith, J. D. (2005). "Colin Eaborn. 15 March 1923 - 22 February 2004: Elected F.R.S. 1970".  
  2. ^ a b c d p.103
  3. ^ a b c Smith, David (12 March 2004). "Obituary - Colin Eaborn".  
  4. ^ a b "Professor Colin Eaborn".  
  5. ^ "Bulletin - Obituaries - 27 February 2004".  
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