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Prof. G. Barger, F.R.S

Nature volume 140, page 537 (25 September 1937) | Download Citation



THE appointment, which is announced elsewhere (p. 556) of Prof. G. Barger, professor of chemistry in relation to medicine at the University of Edinburgh, to the Regius chair of chemistry in the University of Glasgow, will give general satisfaction. By his work during the past thirty years, Prof. Barger has exercised a considerable influence on the development of organic chemistry and biochemistry in Great Britain. In his well-known early collaboration with Dr. (now Sir Henry) Dale, in the laboratories of Messrs. Burroughs, Wellcome and Co., he was jointly responsible for one of the most fruitful applications of organic chemistry to biological problems which has ever been made ; he is a distinguished worker in the field of alkaloid chemistry and by his own work and through his pupils he has made major contributions to what may be called in general terms organic biochemistry. Prof. Barger's appointment in 1919, after holding the professorship of chemistry at the Royal Holloway College, London, to the newly instituted chair of chemistry in relation to medicine at Edinburgh, was in itself a recognition of the outstanding characteristic of his work, namely, the attack of organic chemical problems related to biology not from a narrowly chemical point of view but with true appreciation of their biological implications. His Department at Edinburgh has continued to work on these lines, and has at the same time been responsible for great improvements in the teaching of chemistry to students of medicine. Prof. Barger's influence in chemistry to-day is further enhanced by the many contacts which he maintains with colleagues in other countries, aided as he is by linguistic attainments of distinction. It is encouraging to those who believe that organic chemistry has still vital contributions to make to biology that an important chair of chemistry such as that at Glasgow should be occupied by one who has shown the keenness of his biochemical interests by his own sustained efforts and through the work of his pupils.

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