Professor Peter Atkins (Chemistry BSc, 1961; Chemistry PhD 1964; Honorary Doctor of Science, 2002)

Peter Atkins image

What have you gone on to do since graduating from the University of Leicester?

Since graduating from The University of Leicester, although now retired, I have enjoyed a successful academic career, firstly a postdoc at UCLA, then full-time at Oxford from 1965 until 2007. Since 1975 I have mostly been writing books of various kinds and continue to do so during retirement. I have written over 70 books which range from textbooks to books conveying a scientific attitude to the general public.

As a prominent chemistry alumnus, what are the biggest challenges for the profession in the modern day?

I believe one of the biggest challenges for the profession today is the appreciation of its contributions.

Do you have a favourite memory of the chemistry department or your tutor from your time at The University of Leicester?

I am forever grateful to Dr Florence Shaw, who interviewed me (in 1958) and took the chance with a school drop-out. I am also equally grateful to my PhD supervisor, Professor Martyn Symons, who helped me in various ways.

What advice and tips do you have for students and recent graduates who would like to enter a similar work role to you?

Go for it!

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