The popularisation of science has never been very popular - particularly amongst scientists, who equate it with a lowering of standards. Nevertheless, while pure and applied science have transformed the world we live in beyond recognition over the last few decades, Britain's overly specialised education system means that its population are unable to understand that world. What can be done to improve this situation?
This is the 1987 Special Lecture.
Professor Sir George Porter was the Gresham Professor of Astronomy between 1990 and 1993.
He became Fullerian Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Royal Institution in 1966. During his directorship of the Royal Institution, Porter was instrumental in the setting up of Applied Photophysics, a company created to supply instrumentation based on his group's work. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 along with Manfred Eigen and Ronald George Wreyford Norrish. In the same year he became a Visiting Professor at University College London.
He was president of the Royal Society between 1985 and 1990. He was knighted in 1972 and made a life peer as Baron Porter of Luddenham in 1990.