Royal Society of Chemistry pays tribute to John R Ruck Keene, CBE Hon FRSC

04 April 2014

Dr Robert Parker, current Royal Society of Chemistry Chief Executive, has paid tribute to his predecessor, Mr John Ruck Keene, who has died at the age of 97.

John R Ruck Keene
Dr Parker said: "I am saddened to hear of the passing of a man whose great service to chemistry laid many of the foundations of the Royal Society of Chemistry as it is today."

As Secretary General of our antecedent, the Chemical Society, John Ruck Keene played a substantial role in the lengthy amalgamation process between the Royal Institute of Chemistry, the Faraday Society and the Society for Analytical Chemistry, which was completed in 1980. 

He was chosen to become the first Secretary General of the unified Royal Society of Chemistry and is named in the Royal Charter document that is displayed at its home in Burlington House. On retiring in 1982, he was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Parker concludes: "The achievement of amalgamating the societies was a demanding task of over eight years' work and has led to us becoming the world's leading chemistry community.

"Coupled with his 35 years of service, including a remarkable 34 as Secretary General, John Ruck Keene's efforts are truly worthy of our gratitude."

Close-up of Royal Charter text


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