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THE FRS NOMINATION OF SIR PRAFULLA C. RAY AND THE CORRESPONDENCE OF N. R. DHAR

Choudhuri, Arnab Rai and Singh, Rajinder (2018) THE FRS NOMINATION OF SIR PRAFULLA C. RAY AND THE CORRESPONDENCE OF N. R. DHAR. In: NOTES AND RECORDS-THE ROYAL SOCIETY JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, 72 (1). pp. 57-73.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1098/rsnr.2017.0030

Abstract

Sir Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861-1944) was the first Indian chemist to achieve high international reputation. Originally trained at the University of Edinburgh, he worked for many years at Presidency College in Calcutta and then at Calcutta University. He built up a remarkable school of chemical research by attracting many outstanding students to work with him and published about 150 papers-many of them in leading British and German journals. Ray was highly respected by his British peers and was the first Indian of that era to be nominated for FRS, in 1913. At the time when his nomination was being considered by the Royal Society, Ray's favourite student, Nil Ratan Dhar (1892-1986), who was to become the second Indian chemist to achieve high international reputation, worked in London and Paris for a few years. Even when Dhar was merely a 24-year-old student, he lobbied with several leading British chemists for the election of Ray and kept Ray informed in a series of fascinating letters-giving us a rare glimpse of what election to the Royal Society meant for Indian scientists of that era. During this time, Ray received a knighthood for his contributions to chemistry, and Nature published a front-page article on Ray's `life-work'. Many British chemists felt strongly that Ray should be elected FRS and were willing to discuss Ray's case with the young Dhar quite openly. But, rather mysteriously, Ray never got elected.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to the ROYAL SOC, 6-9 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, LONDON SW1Y 5AG, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2018 14:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59069

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