Celebrating 50 years of chemistry at ANU

ANU Research School of Chemistry ANU Research School of Chemistry in 1967 Staff members, 1967 Staff at the opening of the new ANU Research School of Chemistry building in 2013
17 November 2017

In 1967, a small group of researchers came together to establish a new School of Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU).

In 2017, the ANU Research School of Chemistry has grown to become a global leader with a proud history of high quality research and teaching.

The achievements of the School on its 50th anniversary are being celebrated throughout November 2017.

“The School was set up in 1967 by some important figures in Australian chemistry. It was the fifth research school at the University, and initially only focussed on research,” said Professor John Carver, current Director of the ANU Research School of Chemistry.

“These founders came with a vision, and were very well-funded to set up the School. The School was comparable to the best institutions in North America and Europe.

“Over the past 50 years, the staff and students of the ANU Research School of Chemistry have had a proud record of achievement in chemistry research and teaching.”

In 2013, the School entered a new phase in its history, moving into a large $90 million building with state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and facilities.

A number of early-career researchers have recently been hired by the School, bringing with them new and diverse areas of chemistry research to mark another exciting chapter for the School.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, a sculpture has been commissioned especially for the School.

Sculptor Geoff Farquhar-Still and painter Dr Julie Brooke from the ANU School of Art & Design created the work, called Translation.

Translation, by Dr Julie Brooke and sculptor Geoff Farquhar-Still

“The Research School of Chemistry is an extraordinary building, and we wanted to make something that belonged there,” said Dr Brooke.   

“In developing the design we talked to scientists at the ANU Research School of Chemistry about their research and looked at the kind of imagery that they use, for example, physical and digital molecular models.  

“We’ve picked up some of the colours and shapes from the internal architecture, but folded them up into a complex form that references the work of scientists in the School. We want it to seem as though the sculpture has crystallised in the foyer space.”

Dean of the ANU College of Science, Professor Kiaran Kirk, has congratulated the School on their achievement.

“Many of the leading chemists in Australia trained in the School, as students or early-career researchers, and the School continues to attract top students and researchers from around the country and from overseas.

“The ANU Research School of Chemistry has had, and continues to have, an enormous impact on chemistry research and education in Australia and it provides a strong exemplar of the University’s national role.” 

Updated:  17 November 2017/Responsible Officer:  General Manager/Page Contact:  Science Web Services