Biophysical Reviews (2018) 10:707 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12551-018-0413-8 EDITORIAL Tom Welton Received: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published online: 13 April 2018 International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018 On the 21st January, we learned the sad news that Prof Ken world to tell anyone who would listen about ionic liquids, Seddon OBE, a giant in the field of ionic liquids, had died. whether in one-to-one discussions or presentations to meet- Ken’s contributions to the field cannot be overstated. He was a ings of hundreds of people. This, together with his generosity prolific author, with over 400 papers to his name with well of spirit, led to many collaborations on a remarkable range of over half of these being on ionic liquids and their applications, subjects and to Ken being the co-author of the first paper of but his influence went well beyond these. many people who are now well-known members of the ionic Ken told me that he stumbled upon ionic liquids in the early liquids’ community. He also brought ionic liquids and their 1980s in the now old-fashioned way of finding these the subject potential to a great number of companies, which led to the of the paper next to the one that he had originally looked up in a formation of QUILL (Queen’s University Ionic Liquids paper journal. He soon realised that these chloroaluminate ionic Laboratory) as the first university-industry collaborative re- liquids had the potential to be the ideal solvents in which to study search centre dedicated to ionic liquids research in 1998. the UV-vis spectra of transition metal chloride complexes, which Ken was a larger than life character, both physically became the subject of his first few papers in the field, most in and figuratively. With his long hair and sideburns, once collaboration with electrochemist Chuck Hussey, (e.g., BRoom- seen Ken was never forgotten. Equally as memorable was temperature ionic liquids as solvents for electronic absorption- his loud and frequent laughter. Ken did not suffer those he spectroscopy of halide-complexes^,D.Appleby, C. L. Hussey, thought to be fools gladly and was perfectly willing to let K.R.Seddon,J.E.Turp, Nature, 1986, 323,614–616). them know. He could be difficult, dismissive and at times However, he was undoubtedly better known for linking ionic plain rude, but most will remember him as generous and liquids to the growing field of Green Chemistry. Indeed, one of supportive and a true enthusiast for science. Without Ken, his papers was published in the very first edition of the RSC the world of ionic liquids would have been a smaller and journal Green Chemistry,(BDiels-Alder reactions in ionic liquids less exciting place to be. - A safe recyclable alternative to lithium perchlorate-diethyl ether mixtures^, M. J. Earle, P. B. McCormac, K. R. Seddon, Green Prof Tom Welton OBE Chem., 1999, 1, 23–25). Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College Ken was best known for being an enthusiastic advocate for London the potential of ionic liquids to revolutionise almost any area of science or technology. He did this mainly by travelling the * Tom Welton firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, London, UK
Biophysical Reviews – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 13, 2018
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