Sir Robert Price lecture

Sir Robert Price was a great organiser and project developer with the ability to make wide and useful contacts with influential people in associated fields. He made a significant contribution to the growth and development of chemistry in Australia, and to the development of public sector research. He was a great organic chemist and a great man.

After a distinguished career at the University of Adelaide and at Oxford University, he returned to Australia following the Second World War and joined the then CSIR.

He became Chief of the CSIRO Division of Organic Chemistry, then a member and eventually Chairman of the CSIRO Executive. In these roles he displayed great organisational and leadership skills. These were particularly needed during his time as Chairman when major changes in the structure of CSIRO were proposed by the government of the day.

He made major contributions to the discipline of chemistry in Australia particularly through his leadership and redirection of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and his belief in the need for active interaction between Australian research institutes.

Read more about his life and work:

CSIROpedia biography

Historical Records of Australian Science, 2004, 15, 95-120

Lecture series

In 1990 the CSIRO Division of Chemicals and Polymers (later CSIRO Molecular Science) instituted a named lecture series in tribute to Robert’s influence on organic chemistry in CSIRO. These lectures bring industry, CSIRO and University scientists together.

1990: Mr Rod Rickards, Australian National University

1991: Dr Dan KIeir, DuPont Agricultural Products

1992: Sir John Cornforth FRS (Nobel Laureate), University of Sussex

1993: Professor Emmanuel Vogel, University of Cologne

1994: Max Crossley, University of Sydney

1996: Professor Paul Knochel, University of Marburg

1998: Professor Steven Ley FRS, University of Cambridge

2000: Professor Tony Barret FRS, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

2001: Professor David Solomon FAA, University of Melbourne

2015: Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive CSIRO

2017: Professor Benny Freeman, University of Texas

2021: Professor M. Stanley Whittingham, Director, NECCES and Nobel Prize winner