Sir Ewart Ray Herbert Jones FRS (16 March 1911 – 7 May 2002) was a Welsh organic chemist and academic administrator, whose fields of expertise led him to discoveries into the chemistry of natural products, mainly steroids, terpenes and vitamins. His work also led to the creation of the Jones oxidation.
Jones was born in Wrexham in 1911 and grew up in the small village of Rhostyllen, Wales with his evangelical family. Between July 1924 and March 1927, his sister died of tuberculosis, his grandmother died and his father drowned himself. He attended Grove Park School in Wrexham, Wales and then entered the University College of North Wales, Bangor in 1929, hoping to concentrate on physics, but gained an honours degree in 1932 in Chemistry instead. He was invited to stay at the University by the head of the department, J.L. Simonsen, and stayed there for two years.
In 1937 he married Frances Copp, whom he had met during their studies in Bangor. They had three children, two daughters and a son.
In 1938 he became a lecturer at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London and in 1940 was awarded the Meldola Medal and Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry. During the Second World War he trained gas officers and after the war returned to Imperial College as Reader and Assistant Professor.
In 1947, at the age of 36, he accepted the Sir Samuel Hall Chair of Chemistry at the University of Manchester After experimenting with different reagents, he discovered the Jones oxidation (chromic acid oxidation of secondary alcohols to ketones in acetone). After joining the Heilbron group in Manchester, Jones was introduced to acetylene chemistry which eventually led to his work with vitamin A. Later in life, he worked with the Halsall group, specifically with the hydroxypropanone molecule.
In 1954 he was appointed Waynflete Professor of Organic Chemistry and head of the Dyson Perrins Laboratory at the University of Oxford, a position he held until 1978.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1950 and was knighted in 1963. He served as President of the Chemical Society (1964–1966), President of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (1970–1971) and the first President of the Royal Society of Chemistry (1980–1982). He won the Royal Society Davy Medal in 1966 "in recognition of his distinguished contributions to synthetic organic chemistry and to the elucidation of the structures of natural products".
Sir Walter Norman Haworth FRS was a British chemist best known for his groundbreaking work on ascorbic acid while working at the University of Birmingham. He received the 1937 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C". The prize was shared with Swiss chemist Paul Karrer for his work on other vitamins.
Frederic Stanley Kipping FRS was an English chemist. He undertook much of the pioneering work on silicon polymers and coined the term silicone.
Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was an English biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1929, with Christiaan Eijkman, for the discovery of vitamins, even though Casimir Funk, a Polish biochemist, is widely credited with discovering vitamins. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, in 1901. He was President of the Royal Society from 1930 to 1935.
Sir John Warcup Cornforth Jr., AC, CBE, FRS, FAA was an Australian–British chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1975 for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions, becoming the only Nobel laureate born in New South Wales.
Sir Arthur Harden, FRS was a British biochemist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1929 with Hans Karl August Simon von Euler-Chelpin for their investigations into the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes. He was a founding member of the Biochemical Society and editor of its journal for 25 years.
Peter Day was a British inorganic chemist and Professor of Chemistry at University College London (UCL).
Sir Ian Morris Heilbron DSO FRS was a Scottish chemist, who pioneered organic chemistry developed for therapeutic and industrial use.
Ralph Alexander Raphael was a British organic chemist, well known for his use of acteylene derivatives in the synthesis of natural products with biological activity.
Franz Sondheimer FRS was a German-born British professor of chemistry. In 1960, he was awarded the Israel Prize for his contributions to science.
Charles Wayne Rees CBE FRS FRSC was a British organic chemist.
Sir James Johnston Dobbie, FRS FRSE FIC FCS was known for the isolation, chemical structure, and physical properties of alkaloids. He isolated hydroxycodeine from opium and synthesized diphenylene. He carried out UV-VIS spectra of gaseous main group elements and organic compounds.
Sir Edmund Langley Hirst CBE FRS FRSE, was a British chemist.
Harry Longueville Jones (1806–1870) was a Welsh archæologist, artist, Inspector of Schools for Wales and leading founding member of the Cambrian Archaeological Association.
The Jones oxidation is an organic reaction for the oxidation of primary and secondary alcohols to carboxylic acids and ketones, respectively. It is named after its discoverer, Sir Ewart Jones. The reaction was an early method for the oxidation of alcohols. Its use has subsided because milder, more selective reagents have been developed, e.g. Collins reagent.
Sir James Baddiley FRS FRSE was a British biochemist.
Andrew Bruce Holmes,, FInstP is an Australian and British senior research chemist and professor at the Bio21 Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and the past President of the Australian Academy of Science. His research interests lie in the synthesis of biologically-active natural products and optoelectronic polymers.
Sir David Allan "Dai" Rees, FRS is a retired British biochemist and science administrator who was chief executive of the Medical Research Council between 1987 and 1996.
The Sir Samuel Hall Chair of Chemistry is the named Chair of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester, established through an endowment of £36,000 in 1913 by the Hall family. This chair has been occupied by the following chemists:
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Manchester is one of the largest Departments of Chemistry in the United Kingdom, with over 600 undergraduate and more than 200 postgraduate research students.
John Lionel Simonsen was an English organic chemist.