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Biographical entry Birch, Arthur John (1915 - 1995)

CMG, AC, FAA, FRS

Born
3 August 1915
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died
8 December 1995
Occupation
Organic chemist

Summary

Arthur John Birch was Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU) from 1967. The main building of the Research School of Chemistry at ANU was named the Birch Building in his honour in1995. Prior to working at ANU Birch was at Oxford (1938-48), Cambridge (1948-52), the University of Sydney (1952-55), and Manchester University (1955-67). He received many honours including the H.G. Smith Medal, A.E. Leighton Memorial Award and Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the ANZAAS Medal and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).

Details

Events

1937
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Sydney
1938
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Sydney
1938 - 1948
Career position - 1851 Exhibition Scholar and ICI Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK
1940
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) completed at the University of Oxford
1948 - 1952
Career position - Smithson Fellow of the Royal Society at the University of Cambridge, UK
1952 - 1955
Career position - Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Sydney
1954
Award - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)
1955 - 1967
Career position - Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK
1958
Award - Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
1967 - 1970
Career position - Dean of the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University
1967 - 1980
Career position - Foundation Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Australian National University in Canberra
1972
Award - Matthew Flinders Lecture presented to the Australian Academy of Science
1973 - 1976
Career position - Dean of the Research School of Chemistry
1977
Career position - Chair of the Independent Inquiry into CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
1977 - 1978
Career position - President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1979
Award - Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
1979
Career position - Founding Chair of the Australian Marine Sciences and Technologies Advisory Committee
1982 - 1986
Career position - President of the Australian Academy of Science
1987
Award - Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
1995
Award - Naming of the main building of the Research School of Chemistry as Birch Building

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Arthur John Birch - Records, 1961 - 1996, MS 121; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • Birch, Arthur, To See the Obvious, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1995, 297 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Birch, A. J., 'Sir Robert Robinson: a Contemporary historical assessment and a personal memoir', Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 109, no. 3/4, 1976, pp. 151-160. Details
  • Birch, Arthur J., 'Investigating a Scientific Legend: the Tropinone Synthesis of Sir Robert Robinson, FRS', Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 47, 1993, pp. 277-296. Details
  • Rae, Ian D., 'Appointing a Professor: Reflections on Filling the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Sydney in 1948', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 18, no. 1, 2007, pp. 19-42. Details
  • Rickards, Rodney W. and Cornforth, John, Sir, 'Arthur John Birch 1915-1995', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 18, no. 2, 2007, pp. 243-280. Details
  • Walker, Rosanne, 'Arthur Birch: the Grandfather of the Contraceptive Pill', Australasian Science, vol. 20, no. 6, 1999, p. 46. Details

Online Resources

See also

McCarthy, G.J.