Nature 161, 672-672 (01 May 1948) | doi:10.1038/161672a0

Sir Franklin Sibly, K.B.E



THE life of the late Sir Franklin Sibly was notable as the triumph of a brilliant mind over physical frailty. After an almost precocious career as a student (he obtained the degree of D.Sc. at the age of twenty-five), he became a teacher and worker in geology. He seemed set for the life of an active academic geologist, and the work he accomplished in the ten years of this phase placed him in the front rank. But in 1920 his appointment as principal of University College, Swansea, brought out his latent genius for administration, and during the last twenty-six years of his active life he became successively vice-chancellor of the University of Wales, principal of the University of London and vice-chancellor of the University of Reading. Such responsibilities might well have filled a normal life, especially since their holder was by no means physically robust ; but from 1929 until 1946 he held, often concurrently, a series of administrative positions to which he brought qualities of sagacity and geniality beyond the ordinary.