Following his graduation Bill remained at Aberystwyth, where he was appointed assistant lecturer in organic chemistry. In this post, he helped oversee the modernisation and expansion of the department. During 1969, Bill and Professor H G Heller reached out to perform a series of exciting schools-based lectures entitled ‘experiments and considerations touching colours’. This lecture has been delivered over 200 times throughout mainland Britain, as well as in Brussels, to thousands of attendees.
In 1990, Bill responded to a Royal Society of Chemistry initiative to encourage interest in science amongst primary school pupils, by devising a demonstration lecture called ‘Science and Energy’. This lecture series enabled attending pupils to perform all of the experiments and succeeded in inspiring the many thousands who attended.
Bill later teamed up with Dr Jim Ballantine and together they toured the country to deliver this exciting, interactive lecture. During his lifetime, he gave the lecture to over 800 schools, with a phenomenal 80,000 pupils having experienced ‘Science and Energy’.
Bill’s dedication to science and young people earned him an MBE, the Michael Faraday Award Lecture and an RSC Silver Medal, amongst other accolades.
It is a fitting tribute to honour his commitment to the inspiration of others through a memorial lecture. This lecture was held in Aberystwyth University on 14 December and was given by Professor Iwan Morus.
Professor Morus delivered a fascinating lecture entitled ‘Michael Faraday’s Chemical History of a Candle’, to an audience comprised of Bill’s family, academics, schoolchildren and colleagues who worked with Bill on the Mid Wales local section of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The lecture gave an extensive overview of perhaps Faraday’s most famous lecture, which he delivered to the Royal Institution in the 19th century, attended by numerous members of the Royal family. A highlight of the lecture given by Professor Morus was some amusing insight into the collaborative work between Humphry Davy and Faraday exploring different gases.
It is fitting the subject of the inaugural Bill Williams Memorial Lecture was a scientist who was a passionate performer and who delivered a great number of public lectures. The Royal Society of Chemistry are grateful for the work of Bill and are delighted to see Bill’s legacy continue with the ‘Science and Energy’ lectures due to take place in Aberystwyth during January 2017.
Bill Williams is one of our 175 faces of chemistry and you can read more about his life, work and outreach activities in his full profile.
Find out how to get involved in activities taking place in the region with our Mid-Wales local section.