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Date of appointment: 9 march 1978.

By proposal of: Faculty of Chemistry.

Date of investiture: 9 march 1979.

Sponsor: Dr. Agustín Escardino Benlloch and Dr. Eliseo Seoane Bardanca.

Biographical outline:

Derek Harold Richard Barton was born in Gravesend in 1918. English chemist.

He enrolled in the Imperial College of the University of London in 1938. Two years later he graduated with the highest qualification and in 1942 he obtained a doctorate in the specialty of organic chemistry. Between 1942 and 1944 he worked on a research project linked to the Government. After a brief period in the industry, he returned in 1946 to the Chemistry Department of the University of London to continue his academic career.

In 1949, he worked as a guest lecturer at Harvard University and, on his return, he was appointed professor of organic chemistry at the Birkbeck College of the University of London, where he appointed him three years later as a professor.

In 1955 he was at the University of Glasgow, returning in 1957 to the Imperial College of London, where he would remain until 1978. In that same year he was appointed director of the Chemical Institute of Natural Substances of Gif-south-Yvette. In 1986 he moved to Texas A & M University, where he worked until his death in 1998.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1969, together with Odd Hassel, for his contributions to the development of the concept of conformation and its application in chemistry.


  •     The Conformation of the Steroid Nucleus, 1950
  •     Half to Century of Radical Chemistry, 1993
  •     Reason and Imagination: Reflections on Research in Organic Chemistry, 1996