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29/07/2014

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In memoriam

The British Science Association remembers the following individuals:

Frank Ellis
1948 - 2008

It is with great sadness that we note here the death after a short illness of Dr Frank Ellis, Schools Liaison Manager at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage. 

Frank was a tremendous enthusiast for the enrichment of school science and made huge contributions to the work of the British Science Association. He was particularly involved with the CREST Star Investigators scheme, helping with the funding proposal, the development of the project and the evaluation. In addition to CREST Star Investigators, Frank supported the regional and national science fairs, acting as a judge for the CREST awards. He will be sadly missed.

G Leslie Macdonald
1924 – 2007


Brought up in Glasgow, he loved telling of the time in secondary school when he went to his Headmaster and said that he wanted to do science, only to be patted on the head (at least metaphorically) and told to carry on with his Latin and Greek, and do science at university. He did so, but struggled to catch up with those who had already done science at school.

During the War, he worked for the Admiralty on the Clyde, and told of experimental homing torpedoes ending up in the gardens of those who lived on the banks of the river.

After the War he was still required to spend a period on ‘work of national importance’, but took the opportunity to find a post as a lab assistant at the Cavendish lab in Cambridge, which he was surprised to find was considered to qualify as being ‘of national importance’. He learned X-ray crystallography and found it a hugely stimulating experience to be working for eminent physicists such as Lawrence Bragg and John Kendrew. At the end of this time, he was offered the opportunity to take a Cambridge science degree, which he took up enthusiastically.

From there he went on to work for the Mullard Company, which later became part of Philips, where he worked as an analyst, becoming an expert at electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray spectrometry, and related techniques. He would bring home electron micrographs of butterfly’s wings and other wonders, which, along with his enthusiasm, readily stimulated an interest in science in both me and my sister.

Morag and Ruaridh Macdonald.