Chemical Heritage Foundation to Present Roy G. Neville Prize to Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter

October 10, 2011 - Philadelphia

The Chemical Heritage Foundation will present the Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography to Michael Hunter, author of Boyle: Between God and Science. Hunter is a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London. The prize will be awarded on Thursday, October 13, 2011, as part of CHF's Fall Governance Meetings.

Hunter’s work on Robert Boyle, one of the greatest English scientists and a contemporary of Isaac Newton, grew out of extensive research on the milieu of the "new science" associated with the Royal Society in its formative years. Hunter has also investigated various themes in the history of ideas in the late 17th century, including changing attitudes towards magic. 

About Michael Hunter
Educated at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, and Worcester College, Oxford University, Hunter has spent virtually his entire career at Birkbeck College. His research has focused on the intellectual history of 17th- and early 18th-century England. 

Hunter wrote his first monograph on the biographer and virtuoso John Aubrey and has written extensively on the early history of the Royal Society; he currently devotes his main scholarly effort to the aristocrat and natural philosopher Robert Boyle. After cataloguing Boyle’s vast archive, Hunter was chiefly responsible for the definitive editions of Boyle’s works, correspondence, and work diaries. He has also published various books and articles reinterpreting Boyle, culminating in his biography Boyle: Between God and Science (Yale University Press, 2009), which will be awarded the 2011 Roy G. Neville Prize.

About the Neville Prize
The Roy G. Neville Prize in Bibliography or Biography, established in 2006, is presented annually by the Chemical Heritage Foundation to recognize an outstanding monograph in the areas of the chemical and molecular sciences. The objective of this prize is to encourage emulation, inspire achievement, and promote public understanding of modern sciences, industries, and economies.

The Neville Prize recognizes either:

• A monograph that contributes to our bibliographical knowledge of the chemical and molecular sciences, in the tradition inaugurated by Henry Carrington Bolton and exemplified in the lifetime achievement of Roy G. Neville; or

• A major work of biography in the chemical and molecular sciences.

In order to be considered for nomination, the work must have been published during a period of five calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition. The Neville Prize may not be received in absentia, except under extraordinary conditions as approved by the president of CHF. The recipient is expected to deliver an address at the award ceremony. The author of the winning monograph receives a cash prize, a certificate, and travel expenses to accept the award.

About Roy G. Neville (1926–2007)
A consulting chemist by profession, Roy G. Neville founded the firm Engineering and Technical Consultants in 1973 in Redwood City, California. He was president of the firm until his death in 2007. He was also a passionate bibliophile by avocation. Neville began collecting books as a teenager in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, and amassed one of the largest private collections of rare books in the fields of science and technology, and chemistry in particular. The Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library was acquired by CHF in 2004 and is available for research in CHF’s Othmer Library.

About Henry Carrington Bolton
Henry Carrington Bolton (1843–1903) was a chemist, historian, academic, bibliophile, and renowned bibliographer of chemistry. Bolton documented the period 1492 to 1902 in his Select Bibliography of Chemistry, creating the definitive list of chemical books published during these 500 years. This massive reference work, listing more than 15,000 titles in chemistry, was published by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in 1893, with supplements in 1899, 1901, and 1904.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) fosters an understanding of chemistry’s impact on society. An independent nonprofit organization, we strive to

• Inspire a passion for chemistry;

• Highlight chemistry’s role in meeting current social challenges; and

• Preserve the story of chemistry and its technologies and industries across centuries.

CHF maintains major collections of instruments, fine art, photographs, papers, and books. We host conferences and lectures, support research, offer fellowships, and produce educational materials. Our museum and public programs explore subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology.

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