Distinguished Lectureships

The Department of Chemistry annually hosts three distinguished lectures. The Pattison and 3M Lecture series are highlights of the academic year and host preeminent scholars in the international chemistry community in all areas of Chemistry. The list of past lecturers includes several Nobel Laureates. The Paul de Mayo lectureship honours a recent Western Chemistry graduate, who is invited to return "home" to present a lecture on their current research.


Fred Pattison Senior Lectureship

This lecture series was endowed by the family of Fred L.M. Pattison, Head of the Department from 1959 to 1965.

Pattison Lecturers (Nobel Laureates are in bold)

Biography of Fred Pattison

Fred PattisonFred was born in Scotland, where he received his early education before going to the University of Cambridge in 1941 for undergraduate work in Natural Sciences, followed by a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He then spent a year at Dalhousie University as Lecturer before joining the faculty here at UWO as Assistant Professor in 1948. He established a Ph.D. program in the department, and his research on biologically active organic fluorine compounds resulted in many publications, the award of an Sc.D. by the University of Cambridge, and a book: Toxic Aliphatic Fluorine Compounds. In 1959 he became Professor and Head of the Department, and he presided over the expansion of the department and its move to new facilities.

In 1965, Fred decided on a complete career change, and at the age of 42 he enrolled at UWO as a first-year medical student. On completing his M.D. four years later, he interned at St. Joseph's Hospital here in London and served for a year as resident in the Family Practice Program; he also took a diploma course in venereology at the University of Liverpool. In 1971-73, Fred followed up a long-standing interest in Canada's North people by working with the International Grenfell Association. He provided solo medical care for about 6,000 people scattered along 120 miles of the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland.

Fred returned to London in 1973, when he joined UWO's student health service, holding the position of Director at his formal retirement in 1988. During the same period he was clinical assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine, giving instruction in venereology, and director of the Middlesex-London Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic. On his retirement, Fred was able to resume his connection with the Chemistry Department with the rank of Professor Emeritus.

For more information on the history of the Department please follow this link.


3M logoLecture Series

This lecture series was established in 1962; it is now sponsored by 3M Canada. (Nobel Laureates are in bold)

  • 2013 Ian Manners, Bristol
  • 2010 Harry Gray, Caltech
  • 2009 Didier Astruc, Université Bordeaux
  • 2008 Paul Corkum, Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, NRC
  • 2007 Kohei Tamao, Kyoto University
  • 2006 Kenneth Raymond, University of California at Berkeley
  • 2005 Norm Dovichi, University of Washington
  • 2004 Albert Padwa, Emory University/Atlanta GA
  • 2003 Dieter Fenske, Universität Karlsruhe
  • 2002 Robert R. Birge, Connecticut/Syracuse
  • 2001 K. C. Nicolaou, Scripps/UC San Diego
  • 2000 Ian Dance, New South Wales
  • 1999 Robert W. Field, M.I.T
  • 1998 Jean M. J. Frechet, Berkeley
  • 1996 R. Huisgen, Munich
  • 1994 A. J. Bard, U. Texas, Austin
  • 1993 H. Schmidbauer, Munich
  • 1992 K. U. Ingold, NRC
  • 1991 D. A. Shirley, Berkeley>
  • 1990 D. Seyferth, M.I.T.
  • 1989 D.J. Cram, U.C.L.A.
  • 1988 R.A. Marcus, Cal. Tech.
  • 1987 M. H. Chisholm, Indiana
  • 1986 J. M. Lehn, Strasbourg
  • 1985 D. R. Hershbach, Harvard
  • 1984 M. L .H. Green, Oxford
  • 1983 R. Breslow, Columbia
  • 1982 Sir John Meurig Thomas, Cambridge
  • 1981 J. Halpern, Chicago
  • 1980 W.P. Jencks, Brandeis
  • 1979 J. A. Pople, Carnegie-Mellon
  • 1978 J. Chatt, Sussex
  • 1977 D. Arigoni, E.T.H., Switzerland
  • 1976 J. A. Morrison, McMaster
  • 1975 R. J. P. Williams, Oxford
  • 1974 G. Stork, Columbia
  • 1973 W.A. Klemperer, Harvard
  • 1972 R.G. Pearson, Northwestern
  • 1971 F.H. Westheimer, Harvard
  • 1970 S.A. Rice, Chicago
  • 1969 H. Taube, Stanford
  • 1968 A. Eschenmoser, E.T.H, Switzerland
  • 1967 J. O. Hirschfelder, Wisconsin
  • 1966 F. A. Cotton, M.I.T.
  • 1965 S. Winstein, U.C.L.A.
  • 1963 Sir Ronald Nyholm, University College
  • 1962 Sir Derek H.R. Barton, Imperial College

The Paul de Mayo Award Lectureship

Paul de Mayo was a dedicated teacher-scholar at Western for 35 years. After his death in 1994, contributions for a fund to commemorate his life and work came from around the world, reflecting the high respect, admiration, and affection of his former collaborators and colleagues. This fund now honors one of Western's top graduate students each year.

de Mayo Lecturers

  • 2013 Yan (Lucy) Pan (L. Konermann, supervisor)
  • 2012 Hossein Ismaili (M. S. Workentin, supervisor)
  • 2011 Jason Dutton (P. J. Ragogna, supervisor)
  • 2010 Paul Rupar (K. M. Baines, supervisor)
  • 2009 Cheng Lu (R. H. Lipson, supervisor)
  • 2008 Barry Blight (J. Wisner, supervisor)
  • 2007 Ian Young (M. Kerr, supervisor)
  • 2006 Nick Mosey (T. Woo, supervisor)
  • 2005 Marty DeGroot (J. Corrigan, supervisor)
  • 2004 Mark Nicholls (P. R. Norton and M. Bancroft, supervisors)
  • 2003 Dana Eisler (R. J. Puddephatt, supervisor)
  • 2002 Jason Pitters (M. S. Workentin and P. R. Norton, supervisors)
  • 2001 Rob Donkers (M. S. Workentin, supervisor)
  • 2000 Cliff Baar (R. J. Puddephatt, supervisor)
  • 1999 Xiaokun Hu (R. H. Lipson, supervisor)
  • 1998 Geoff Hill (R. J. Puddephatt, supervisor)
  • 1997 Mike Irwin (R. J. Puddephatt, supervisor)
  • 1996 Antony Presta (M. J. Stillman, supervisor)

Biography of Paul de Mayo

Paul de MayoPaul de Mayo, Professor of Chemistry and Emeritus Professor, was born in London, England in 1924. He studied for the external London B.Sc. (1944) at the University College of the Southwest of England in Exeter, and subsequently earned a part time M.Sc. (in 1952) at Birkbeck College, London, where he also took his PhD (1954) under the supervision of D.H.R. (later Sir Derek) Barton. As an assistant lecturer and later as lecturer, Paul accompanied Barton in his moves from Birkbeck to Glasgow (1955) and to Imperial College, London (1957). During a year (1958 - 1959) as a postdoctoral fellow with R.B. Woodward at Harvard, he was recruited by Fred Pattison, the incoming Head of the Department of Chemistry, as part of a plan to establish a vigorous program of research in Chemistry at Western.

Thus began Paul's association of more than 35 years with Western. He rapidly established himself with an active program of research in organic chemistry, initially in both structural and synthetic aspects of natural products, in flash thermolysis, and in photochemistry, the last providing an abiding and evolving interest throughout his whole career. His research activities were summarized in more than 250 contributions. Notable among his efforts are the discovery of the photoinduced addition of an enolized diketone to an alkene (known as the De Mayo Reaction), and the first synthesis (by flash thermolysis) of a simple pentalene derivative. His work was recognized by a number of awards, including the Merck, Sharp and Dohme Lecture Award (1966) of the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal (1982, the highest award of the C.I.C.), the first E.W.R Steacie Award in Photochemistry (1985) and the E.W.R. Steacie Award in Chemistry (1992). In 1971 he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1975 a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Paul set very high standards for himself and expected them in others. He was very much a presence in the department but never sought official positions such as chairman or dean; he preferred to be an éminence grise using 'the oblique approach' (his term) of convincing people by private conversation. To work with Paul was, for most people, a memorable experience. He could be in turn charming or difficult, but in either mode was a force to be reckoned with. He also had an original and quirky sense of humour with a distinct taste for the private joke. For example, in a paper on the first synthesis of thiobenzaldehyde and thioacrolein he wrote 'The calculated (25) spectrum of 7 [thioacrolein] includes maxima at 265 and 570 nm5. . . .' Footnote 5 reads (in full), 'The CNEBI approach yields similar results.' CNEBI was not explained nor could it have been expected to be common knowledge; it stood for Complete Neglect of Everything But Intuition.

Paul was a dedicated teacher. In addition to his more conventional teaching duties, he originated and, for many years, ran Problem Seminars - a course with the explicit purpose of promoting critical thinking. Paul directed the work of >40 graduate students and >70 postdoctoral co-workers from many parts of the world. At the news of his death (on July 26, 1994) contributions for a fund to commemorate his life and work came from around the world, reflecting the high respect, admiration, and affection of his former collaborators and colleagues.

It is particularly appropriate that this award, which celebrates high merit in graduate work, should commemorate the name of Paul de Mayo, who worked so hard to establish the conditions in this department which make such excellence possible.

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