He was educated at Stockport Grammar School and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham. He was a Professor at the University of Cambridge, and Professor of Chemistry and Principal of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
He died on 13 October 2016 at the age of 91.
- Ronald Eric Banks (2000). Fluorine chemistry at the millennium: fascinated by fluorine. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-043405-6.
- "Hail the glory of an English country garden". The Independent. London. 27 March 2005.
- Robert Haszeldine (OS 1942)