19 March: Remembering Norman Haworth on Birthday

Suman Kumar

Norman Haworth (19 March 1883 – 19 March 1950) was a British chemist. He was awarded the 1937 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on carbohydrates and vitamin C.

Life and Career

He was born on 19 March 1883, in White Coppice, Lancashire, England. He received his education in chemistry from the University of Manchester. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1906, and his Doctorate in 1910.

He studied under the guidance of renowned chemist William Henry Perkin Jr. during his time at the university. His research during his doctoral studies focused on carbohydrates and their derivatives, which later became a significant area of his research as a chemist.

After completing his studies, he worked as a lecturer in chemistry at Armstrong College in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In 1925, Haworth was appointed the head of the chemistry department at the University of Birmingham, where he spent the rest of his career.

His research on the structure and synthesis of carbohydrates, particularly on the chemical structure of the simple sugar’s glucose, fructose, and galactose helped lay the foundation for the understanding of carbohydrates and their role in biological systems.

His research on the structure of vitamin C, which he conducted with Edmund Hirst, led to the synthesis of ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C, which has had a significant impact on public health.

Haworth also served as the president of the Chemical Society in 1931 and was knighted in 1948. He died on March 19, 1950, in Birmingham, England.

He died on 19 March 1950, in Barnt Green, Worcestershire, England.

Award and Legacy

He was awarded the 1937 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on carbohydrates and vitamin C.

He also received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1944 and the Royal Medal in 1947.

He was also knighted in 1948 for his contributions to chemistry.

Haworth’s contributions to the field of chemistry have had a lasting impact and continue to inspire future generations of chemists.

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