Robin Clark was a distinguished physical/inorganic chemist who made major discoveries in the coordination chemistry of the early transition metals, especially of titanium and vanadium complexes with high coordination numbers (notably seven and eight) and of the structures and physical properties of mixed valence, linear chain and metal–metal bonded compounds. He applied far-infrared spectroscopy to study metal–ligand vibrations systematically and established the technique for structure elucidation of transition metal and main group compounds. He also developed Raman and resonance Raman spectroscopy applied to inorganic compounds and highly coloured solids including mineral samples. That work led to his seminal applications of microbeam Raman spectroscopy for the identification of pigments and other constituents of artworks and historical artefacts, thereby developing a basis for testing their provenance and the identification of forgeries.
Aaron Klug made outstanding contributions to the development of structural molecular biology. An early interest in viruses, stemming from work with Rosalind Franklin, prompted him to think deeply about extracting the information contained in electron micrographs. As a result, he proposed a method for making three-dimensional maps of biological specimens from the projected images given by micrographs. For this development and its application to complex molecular assemblies, he was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The recent revolution in biological structure determination, whereby atomic structures can now be determined from micrographs of frozen hydrated specimens, derives from this initial breakthrough. With colleagues, Aaron applied X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy to determine the structures and thereby understand the functions of many biological assemblies, including viruses, transfer RNA, chromatin and zinc fingers. He also made important forays into the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Aaron was director of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge from 1986 to 1996 and President of the Royal Society from 1995 to 2000.
James Stirling's wide-ranging contributions to the development and application of quantum chromodynamics were central in verifying QCD as the correct theory of strong interactions, and in computing precise predictions for all types of collider processes. He published more than 300 papers on a vast range of phenomenological topics, including some of the most highly cited of all time in particle physics. His research, always full of insight, focused on the confrontation of theoretical predictions with experimental results. Amongst many key contributions, he developed the helicity amplitude method and used it to show that the CERN ‘monojet’ events, thought to be a possible signal of new physics, were due to vector boson plus jet production. The method has since facilitated the calculation of many other important processes. At Durham he formed a famous long-standing collaboration that set the standard for determining the quark and gluon distributions in the proton. Besides his intellectual brilliance, his personal qualities of humility, modesty, diligence and fairness made him an outstanding scientific leader and administrator. He played a major role in the foundation of the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology in Durham and served as its first Director. In 2005 he was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at Durham. He moved to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in 2008, becoming Head of the Department of Physics in 2011. Then in 2013 he was appointed to the newly created position of Provost, the chief academic officer, at Imperial College, London, from which he retired in August 2018.
Paul Gordon Jarvis was a widely known and well-respected plant ecologist and physiologist, who pioneered the scientific analysis of the exchange of water and carbon dioxide between forests and the atmosphere, and laid the foundations for decades of study on the interplay between forests and the climate system. He was one of the first to measure directly the photosynthesis and transpiration of forests, and leading from this, his analysis of the relationships between the physiology of plants and the weather has informed and inspired a generation of young scientists. In particular, he was one of the first to address the linkage between knowledge gained at the microscopic scale of stomata and the landscape scale of forests, and the implications of that linkage for the climate system.
Edward Osmund Royle Reynolds was the founding father of neonatal medicine in the United Kingdom and a major leader in the field worldwide; he was a key advisor to government for a decade. He was one of the first paediatricians to specialize in the care of the newborn. He brought to the field a new emphasis on scientific medicine and intellectual rigour with an adventurous investigative and collaborative spirit. Known as Os by his colleagues, he inspired a team of clinicians and scientists who contributed to major advances in our understanding of lung disease in preterm infants and of neurological insults arising in the perinatal period that have contributed to the markedly improved survival and developmental outcomes observed in the twenty-first century compared with those of the 1950s and 1960s. The whole-body cooling, now widely utilized in the management of perinatal asphyxia, owes its introduction to the ground-breaking research utilizing magnetic resonance spectroscopy in animal and newborn studies initiated by Os. His enthusiasm for new ideas was often in evidence as was the breadth of his interests, knowledge and support. His wider influence is his legacy of the reports to government in which he was involved and is seen today in the National Neonatal Audit Programme run by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health since 2006.
Sydney Andrew was an outstanding chemical engineer. His career with ICI was notable, culminating in the rare distinction of appointment as senior research associate. Early work when he was a plant manager led to the development of a systematic procedure for plant maintenance, the forerunner of ‘critical path scheduling’, now widely used for planning complex construction and maintenance projects. Syd did pioneering work on the absorption of gases into liquids where the dissolved gas reacts with the liquid. He helped to develop catalysts for the steam reforming of naphtha, leading to the installation of many plants to provide gas for domestic use; these plants replaced the numerous plants for making town gas from coal. Producing syn-gas from naphtha was beneficial for making ammonia and methanol; several plants were built in India and Japan.