Press Releases 2014-2015

Internationally Respected Welsh Chemist to Speak at City Lecture


The general public are invited to attend a free lecture by internationally respected Welsh chemist Sir John Meurig Thomas as a part of the annual joint Open Lecture by The Old Dy'vorians Association and University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Swansea.

The lecture, entitled ‘Unpredictability and Chance in Science and Technology’, will take place at UWTSD’s Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media on Wednesday 30th April, starting at 7pm. Admission is free of charge. Those who would like to attend are asked to contact Joyce Wills on 01792 481100 or email

Llanelli-born Sir John Meurig Thomas FRS is a leading chemist and educator primarily known for his work on heterogeneous catalysis, solid-state chemistry, and surface and materials science.

He has authored over one thousand scientific articles and several books, and has been the recipient of over twenty Honorary Fellowships from prestigious institutions across the world.

Sir John has worked at universities across Wales and has held senior positions at Cambridge University and the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He was knighted in 1991 ‘for services to chemistry and the popularisation of science’.

His recent awards include the Kapitza Gold Medal from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2011), the Jayne Prize Lectureship of the American Philosophical Society (2011), the Bragg Prize Lectureship of the British Crystallographic Association (2010), the Sven Berggren Prize Lectureship, Lund (2010), the Ertl Prize Lectureship of the Max Planck Gesellschaft (2010), the Sir George Stokes Gold Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2005), the Giulio Natta Gold Medal from the Società Chimica Italiana (2004), the Linus Pauling Gold Medal from Stanford University (2003), and the American Chemical Society Annual Award (first recipient) for Creative Research in Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Catalysis (1999). He has won the Davy Medal of the Royal Society and the Faraday Lectureship Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 1995 he became the first British scientist in 80 years to be awarded the Willard Gibbs Gold Medal by the American Chemical Society.

In recognition of his contributions to geochemistry, a new mineral, meurigite, was named after him in 1995 by the International Mineralogical Association. In 2003 Sir John became the first scientist to be awarded the Medal of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion (London) for services to Welsh culture and British life. He is a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and, since 2011, has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Wales.

This will be the seventh joint Open Lecture by the Old Dy'vorians Association and UWTSD (formerly Swansea Metropolitan University), who have forged strong links since Swansea's former Dynevor School was acquired and developed into the University’s Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media. Previous speakers have included Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, Lord Anderson of Swansea and Professor Bernard Knight.

The Old Dy'vorians Association has been in existence since 1930 and serves as a platform for past pupils and teachers of the old Dynevor School to initiate and maintain contact with each other.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was formed in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 Swansea Metropolitan University merged into the University.
  2. The University’s 1828 Royal Charter is the oldest in Wales and is third to Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH The Prince of Wales is the University’s Royal Patron.
  3. On 1 August 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged into the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group but will retain its own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged into the group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Senior PR and Communications Officer
07872 423788