Authorised form of nameWilkinson; Sir; Geoffrey (1921 - 1996)
Dates1921 - 1996
Place of birthSpringside, near Todmorden, West Yorkshire
Date of birth14/07/1921
Date of death26/09/1996
Research fieldChemistry
Won County Scholarship (1932) to Todmorden Secondary School; obtained a Royal Scholarship (1939) for study at Imperial College London (1939-1941) Ph.D Imperial College under HVA Briscoe, the only Professor of Inorganic Chemistry in Briatin.
Recruited for nuclear energy project by Paneth in 1942; sent to Canade (1943) and remained in Montreal and later Chalk River Ontario, until 1946. Then joined Glenn T Seaborg's research group at the University of California at Berkeley, becoming the first non-American to be cleared by the US Atomic Energy Commission for work at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Moved (1950) to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study metal complexes such as carbonyls and olefin complexes. Accepted Assistant Professorship at Harvard (1951-1955) Appointed to chair of Inorganic Chemistry at Imperial College London (1956-1995) which was later re-named the Sir Edward Frankland Chair of Inorganic Chemistry to commemorate Frankland who was at the College from 1865. Here Wilkinson worked almost entirely on the complexes of transition metals, having a major influence on the subject through a number of large-scale publications.
Medals and prizes:
Nobel Prize (Chemistry) 1973
Kt 1976
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election18/03/1965
Age at election43
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Royal Medal 1981; Davy Medal 1996
RelationshipsMarried (1951) Lise Solver, daughter of Professor Svend Aage Schou
Published worksWith FA Cotton 'Advanced Inorganic Chemistry' 1962; Editor, 'Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry' 1982 , 9 volumes; 'Supplement to Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry' 1995, 14 volumes
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 2000 vol 46 pp 593-606, plate, by M L H Green and W P Griffith
NCUACS 110/9/02 Papers deposited College Archives, Imperial College London
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA3636
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/004916Wilkinson, Sir Geoffreynd
HWT/24/6/26Correspondence and papers regarding exchanges and non observance by USSR of International Copyright ConventionsMay 1971
IM/GA/WRS/9368Wilkinson, Sir Geoffreynd
EC/1965/32Wilkinson, Geoffrey: certificate of election to the Royal Society
HWT/24/6/28Correspondence and papers regarding exchanges, joint projects and non observance by USSR of International Copyright ConventionsJuly - August 1971
HWT/24/6/29Correspondence and papers regarding exchanges, non observance by USSR of International Copyright Conventions and death of J D BernalSeptember - October 1971
HWT/33/12H W Thompson's personal correspondence as Foreign SecretaryApril - August 1971
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