Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
New and Old Themes in the History of Chemistry
A meeting to honour Bill Brock and mark eighty years of Ambix
 Saturday 20 May 2017
Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS
(Underground: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus)


10.00     Registration and Coffee

10.30     Carolyn Cobbold (University of Cambridge): Yeast, a Problem. The Rise of Chemical Bread Technologies in the 19th century

11.00     Rupert Cole (UCL / RI): ‘Chemist has the answer’ (The Guardian): George Porter, a cheerleader for chemistry in post-war Britain

11.30     Coffee

12.00     Aileen Fyfe (University of St Andrews): The development of non-commercial science journals, in Victorian Britain and beyond

12.30     Sally Horrocks (University of Leicester / BL): ‘I wish I could say I had a little chemistry set at home’: What does oral history really tell us about scientists’ childhoods?

1.00       Lunch

2.00       David Knight (University of Durham): Losers and Winners

2.30       Hattie Lloyd (UCL / RI): Fashion and Chemistry – the Incongruous Union

3.00       John Brooke (University of Oxford): Chemistry and Secularity: From the Most to the Least Spiritual of the Sciences

3.30       Tea

4.00       Bill Brock (University of Leicester): Distilling History through the Ambix

4.30       Round table including Bill Brock, Alan Rocke, John Brooke and David Knight

5.15       Reception and Presentation to Bill Brock

6.00       Close

The fee is £15 (SHAC and Royal Society of Chemistry Historical Group members), otherwise £20.  To register: visit

On behalf of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry by Dr Anna Simmons, Joint Honorary Secretary