Prosperity Through Chemistry: The Abbey 125 lecture
As part of the celebrations of The Abbey School’s 125th anniversary the school invited Professor David Phillips CBE BSc PhD CSci CChem FRSC, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, to deliver his lecture ‘Prosperity Through Chemistry’, and to present the prizes for the School’s inaugural Chemistry competition.
Professor Phillips highlighted the many contributions that chemistry makes to the world around us and the important role that it has to play in future developments in the fields of energy, health and wellbeing, food, water, and leisure and recreation.
Throughout, Professor Phillips illustrated his lecture with explosive and colourful experiments that kept the audience on the edge of its seats. He touched on blue sky research that has led to breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, the elimination of harmful fungi from crops and improvements in the efficiency of power sources for mobile devices.
Professor Phillips concluded by emphasising the contribution that chemistry makes to British business, a figure calculated to be around 21% of GDP. He stressed the importance of continuing to create an environment where blue-sky, curiosity-based research is encouraged and funded, so that leaps in discovery can continue to be made.
The evening culminated in the presentation of prizes for the inaugural Abbey Chemistry competition. The girls were honoured to receive their awards from one of the most distinguished figures in Chemistry today, and Professor Phillips was congratulatory of their achievements in winning.