|Residence Oxford, England|
Fields Physical Chemistry
Doctoral advisor MCR Symons
|Name Peter Atkins|
Movies Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
|Born 10 August 1940 (age 75)
Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England (1940-08-10) |
Institutions University of California, Los Angeles Lincoln College, Oxford
Alma mater University of Leicester
Doctoral students Laurence Barron A.D. Wilson-Gordon David Broomhead
Known for Academic level chemistry text books
Spouse Patricia-Jean Nobes (m. 2008)
Books Atkins' physical chemistry, Chemical Principles: The Ques, Principios de Quimica, The Elements of Physic, Physical Chemistry for the Lif
Similar People Susan Greenfield - Baroness, William Lane Craig, Richard Dawkins, Clive Barker, Raymond Chang
Education University of Leicester
The second law why worse can be better peter atkins tedxoxbridge
Peter William Atkins FRSC (born 10 August 1940) is an English chemist and former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Lincoln College. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks, including Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. Atkins is also the author of a number of popular science books, including Atkins' Molecules, Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science and On Being.
- The second law why worse can be better peter atkins tedxoxbridge
- Peter atkins on what is chemistry
- Views on religion
- Private life
- General readers
- University textbooks
- Media appearances
Peter atkins on what is chemistry
Atkins left school (Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham) at fifteen and took a job at Monsanto as a laboratory assistant. He studied for A-levels by himself and gained a place, following a last-minute interview, at the University of Leicester.
Atkins studied chemistry there, obtaining a BSc degree in chemistry, and a PhD degree in 1964 for research into electron spin resonance spectroscopy, and other aspects of theoretical chemistry. Atkins then took a postdoctoral position at UCLA as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth fund. He returned to Britain in 1965 as a fellow and tutor of Lincoln College, Oxford, and lecturer in physical chemistry (later, professor of physical chemistry). In 1969, he won the Royal Society of Chemistry's Meldola Medal. He retired in 2007, and since then has been a full-time author.
He has honorary doctorates from the University of Utrecht, the University of Leicester (where he sits on the university Court), Mendeleev University in Moscow, and Kazan State Technological University.
He was a member of the Council of the Royal Institution and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was the founding chairman of IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education, and is a trustee of a variety of charities.
Atkins has lectured in quantum mechanics, quantum chemistry, and thermodynamics courses (up to graduate level) at the University of Oxford. He is a patron of the Oxford University Scientific Society.
Views on religion
Atkins is a well-known atheist. He has written and spoken on issues of humanism, atheism, and the incompatibility of science and religion. According to Atkins, whereas religion scorns the power of human comprehension, science respects it.
He was the first Senior Member of the Oxford University Secular Society, a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Reason Project, a US-based charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The organisation is led by fellow atheist and author Sam Harris. Atkins has regularly participated in debates with theists such as Alister McGrath, Stephen C. Meyer, William Lane Craig, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Richard Swinburne.
In December 2006, Atkins was featured in a UK television documentary on atheism called The Trouble with Atheism, presented by Rod Liddle. In that documentary Liddle asked Atkins: "Give me your views on the existence, or otherwise, of god". Atkins replied: "Well it's fairly straightforward: there isn't one. And there's no evidence for one, no reason to believe that there is one, and so I don't believe that there is one. And I think that it is rather foolish that people do think that there is one".
Atkins is known for his use of astringent language in criticising religion: he appeared in the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he told interviewer Ben Stein that religion was "a fantasy", and "completely empty of any explanatory content. It is also evil". He appeared on a television panel about science and religion with Richard Dawkins and Richard Swinburne. When the latter tried to explain the Holocaust as God's way of giving Jews the opportunity to be brave and noble, Atkins growled: "May you rot in hell".
In 2007, Atkins's position on religion was described by Colin Tudge in an article in The Guardian as being non-scientific. In the same article, Atkins was also described as being 'more hardline than Richard Dawkins', and of deliberately choosing to ignore Peter Medawar's famous adage that "Science is the art of the soluble".
Atkins married Judith Kearton in 1964 and they had one daughter, Juliet (born 1970). They divorced in 1983. In 1991, he married fellow scientist Susan Greenfield (later Baroness Greenfield). They divorced in 2005. In 2008, he married Patricia-Jean Nobes (née Brand).