David Chilton, Baron Phillips of Ellesmere (1924-1999)

Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, 1979-1985

  • David Chilton, Baron Phillips of Ellesmere with Dorothy Hodgkin

    David Chilton, Baron Phillips of Ellesmere with Dorothy Hodgkin

    Credit: Royal Institution

Biography

Ri positions

  • Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, 1979-1985

Born in Ellesmere, he attended the High School for Boys in Oswestry before studying physics, mathematics and electrical communications at University College, Cardiff. In 1944 he joined the Royal Navy as a Radar officer and served on the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. After demobilisation in 1947 he returned to Cardiff to complete his education and to commence research.
From 1951 to 1955 he worked at the National Research Laboratories in Ottawa before returning the Britain to work with Lawrence Bragg (whose personal secretary he married) in the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory. There he led the team which determined in 1965, for the first time, the structure of an enzyme, lysozyme.

In 1966 he was appointed Professor of Molecular Biophysics at the University of Oxford where he established an important research group. From 1983 he was Chair of the Advisory Board of the Research Councils until its abolition ten years later. He was active in promoting science to a broad audience and it was on his suggestion the Royal Society's annual award to a scientist for promoting the public understanding of science should be called the Faraday Award.