Neil Kensington Adam

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Neil Kensington Adam
Born (1891-11-05)5 November 1891
Cambridge, England
Died 19 July 1973(1973-07-19) (aged 81)
Southampton, England
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Awards Fellow of the Royal Society[1]
Scientific career
Institutions University of Sheffield
University College London
University of Southampton
University of Cambridge

Neil Kensington Adam FRS, FRIC (5 November 1891 – 19 July 1973) was a British chemist.[1]


Adam was born in Cambridge, the first of three children of James Adam (1860–1907), a Classics don,[2] and his wife Adela Marion (née Kensington) (1866–1944).[1] His sister Barbara was a noted sociologist and criminologist, while his brother Captain Arthur Innes Adam was killed in France on 16 September 1916.[3]

Adam was educated at Winchester College, and then studied chemistry at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he later became a fellow (1915–1923).[4] He graduated BA in 1913, received his MA in 1919, and Sc.D in 1928.[1]


During the First World War, he served at the Royal Naval Air Service airship station at Kingsnorth, Kent, working on problems associated with rubber-proofing fabric for airships, and other chemical problems.[1]

Adam was Sorby Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield from 1921 to 1929,[4] then a Research Associate (1930–1936) and Lecturer (1936–1937) at University College London.[5] He was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southampton from 1937 until 1957.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Adam was married to Winifred Wright;[1] they were active Christian Scientists.[6] Adam died, aged 81, in Southampton.[1]


  • Adam, N. K. (1930). The Physics and Chemistry of Surfaces. London: Oxford University Press. 
  • Adam, N. K. (1956). Physical Chemistry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Carrington, A.; Hills, G. J.; Webb, K. R. (1974). "Neil Kensington Adam 1891–1973" (PDF). Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 20: 1–26. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1974.0001. JSTOR 769631. 
  2. ^ Stray, Christopher, ed. (2005). The Owl of Minerva: the Cambridge praelections of 1906: reassessments of Richard Jebb, James Adam, Walter Headlam, Henry Jackson, William Ridgeway and Arthur Verrall. Cambridge Philological Society. ISBN 978-0-906014-27-1. 
  3. ^ "Casualty Details: Arthur Innes Adam". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "Neil K. Adam papers, 1925–1970". Horizon Information Portal. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Neil Kensington Adam (1891–1973)". University College London. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Morris, Peter. "Chemist's Biographies". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 

External links[edit]