Ernest Arthur Bell

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Professor Ernest Arthur Bell CB (1926–2006)[1][2] was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1981 to 1988,[2] the first biochemist to be appointed to the post.[2]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born at Gosforth, Northumberland on 20 June 1926[2] and was educated at Dame Allan's School, Newcastle upon Tyne.[2] He took a degree in Biology at Durham University and was awarded a doctorate at Trinity College, Dublin.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Bell started his career at ICI in 1946, as a research chemist. In 1947 he took up a research post at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1949 he became a lecturer in Biochemistry at King's College London, where he became Professor of Biology and head of the Department of Plant Sciences in 1972.[2] He was vice-president of the Linnean Society from 1982 to 1986.[1]


He was appointed a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1987.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He married Jean Ogilvie in 1952 and they had three children together – two sons and a daughter.[2]


He died at St George's Hospital, Tooting on 11 June 2006, aged 79.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Ghillean T. Prance. "Ernest Arthur Bell". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Arthur Bell". The Daily Telegraph. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2014.