Authorised form of nameShaw; Bernard Leslie (1930 - 2020)
Dates1930 - 2020
Place of birthSpringhead, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Date of birth28/03/1930
Date of death08/11/2020
Research fieldOrganometallic chemistry
Hulme Grammar School, Oldham; University of Manchester, BSc, PhD
Torry Research Station, Aberdeen (1954-1957); Imperial Chemical Industries (1957-1962); Lecturer, Department of Inorganic and Structural Chemistry, University of Leeds (1962-1966), Reader (1966-1971), Personal Chair (1971-1995), Head of Department (1990-1), Emeritus Professor (1995); Visiting Professor, University of Western Ontario, Carnegie Mellon University (1969); Visiting Professor, The American National University (1983); Visiting Professor, University of Auckland (1986); Lecturer at the Royal Society of Chemistry (1987-1988).
Tilden Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry 1974
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election16/03/1978
Age at election47
RelationshipsMarried (1951) Mary Elizabeth Neild
Published works
General contextBernard Shaw conducted pioneering work on the chemistry of organotransition metal compounds, especially pi-allylic compounds and transition metal hydride complexes. He contributed greatly to our understanding of the bonding, stereochemistry, directional electronic effects, and mechanisms of reactions involved. He showed that transition metal complexes with bulky tertiary phosphine ligands have remarkable physical properties and unusual chemical and catalytic reactivity. The valuable concept of oxidative addition has been introduced for the synthesis of a wide range of complexes of platinum, iridium, or rhodium, and the first clear-cut examples provided of allylic bridges between two metal atoms. Subsequently, the chemistry of pi-allylic complexes has been extensively and usefully developed. He described the first carboxylate-bridged allylic-palladium and rhodium complexes, and these have since been much used in synthesis. He also made a major contribution to the chemistry of transition metal complexes, now often used or postulated as catalytic intermediates in hydrocarboxylation or hydrosilylation, for example, and in major industrial processes such as olefin isomerisation, hydroformylation, and homogeneous catalytic hydrogenation.

Professor Bernard Shaw FRS died on 8 November 2020.
Royal Society profile page (, accessed 29 Apri 2021)
Fishwick, Colin (2021) 'Emeritus Professor Bernard Shaw FRS' (obituary,, accessed 29 April 2021)
Royal Society codeNA430
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/004135Shaw, Bernard Lesliend
EC/1978/32Shaw, Bernard Leslie: certificate of election to the Royal Society1974
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