Richard Norman (chemist)

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Sir Richard Oswald Chandler Norman (27 April 1932 – 6 June 1993) was a British chemist.[1]

He was born the son of bank manager Oswald Norman in Norbury, London and educated at St Paul's School, London. He matriculated in chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford in 1951. After gaining a Ph.D by using continuous flow mixing techniques to study rapid free radical reactions he was made a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where, from 1958 to 1965, he lectured, tutored and built up a research team. In 1965 he left Oxford to create a new department as Professor of Chemistry at the University of York, where he gained a reputation for the study of organic reactions.

At this time he also wrote (with Roger Taylor) Electrophilic Substitution in Benzenoid Compounds (published 1964), Principles of Organic Synthesis (published 1968) and (with David Waddington) Modern Organic Chemistry (1972).

He was President of the Royal Institute of Chemistry from 1978 to 1980 and then of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 1984 to 1986. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1977 and knighted KBE in 1987. From 1983 to 1988 he served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence. In 1987 he returned to Oxford as Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, where he remained until his death in 1993.

His body was cremated at Oxford. He had married Jennifer Margaret Tope but had no children

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Steward, W. B. (12 June 1993). "Obituary:Sir Richard Norman". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Lord Crowther-Hunt
Rector of Exeter College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Marilyn Butler