Society: Arts and Science – August 18


The Nobel Prize is bestowed annually in categories as selected by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Richard Laurence Millington Synge FRS died on this date in 1994. He was a British biochemist, and shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the invention of partition chromatography with Archer Martin. He was a close friend of John H. Humphrey. Educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge, he spent his entire career in research, at locations including Wool Industries Research Association, Leeds (1941–1943), Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine, London (1943–1948), Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen (1948–1967), and Food Research Institute, Norwich (1967–1976). It was during his time in Leeds that he worked with Archer Martin, developing partition chromatography, a technique used in the separation mixtures of similar chemicals, that revolutionized analytical chemistry. Between 1942 and 1948 he studied peptides of the protein group gramicidin, work later used by Frederick Sanger in determining the structure of insulin.