School of Education

Chemistry at Nottingham University: From Silicone Invention to Exploding Pianos

Online Webinar
Tuesday 23rd June 2020 (17:00-18:00)

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From the initial gift of land to form the University Park campus by Jesse Boot (of Boots Chemists), to the development of Ibuprofen by Dr Stewart Adams, chemists have always been integral to the University of Nottingham, contributing to the locality and the world. Discuss some of the notable discoveries and achievements of chemistry at Nottingham University with Dr Samantha Tang

Chair and facilitator

Jo-Anna Russon and John Holford


Links to accompany the session. All three are freely available.

  • Frederic Kipping, inventor of silicones, was married to one of three Holland sisters, all of who married eminent chemists, and a book has been published about their lives. Whilst the author has made it factually accurate, he has taken some poetic licence to make for better storytelling, and the first two pages can be read here: The Holland Sisters 1988
  • Much more information about Frederic Kipping can be found in this downloadable publication by Prof. Neil Thomas, himself an academic at the School of Chemistry at Nottingham: Frederic Stanley Kipping—Pioneer in Silicon Chemistry: His Life & Legacy 
  • A video about the Billy Cotton Band Show court case involving BD Shaw as expert witness, and his tests that caused pianos to explode next to the Chemistry building, is here: Exploding Pianos - Periodic Table of Videos


School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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