Michael Berkeley's guest this week is one of the UK's most distinguished chemists. Professor David Phillips is currently President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is the author of nearly 600 books and papers in the field of photochemistry and laser research. After obtaining a PhD at the University of Birmingham, he undertook postdoctoral studies in the USA and Moscow, befopre joining the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry. He then became Wolfson Professor of Natural Philosophy at The Royal Institution, before moving on in 1989 to become Professor of Physical Chemistry at Imperial College, London, where he fulfilled several senior positions including Hofmann Professor of Chemistry 1999-2006, and Senior Dean. He is currently Senior Science Ambassador, Schools, Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Investigator. He has made frequent radio and TV broadcasts on aspects of science, and has received many international awards. In January 2012 he was awarded the CBE for his services to chemistry.
His music choices share a generally upbeat and optimistic character. They include an aria from Handel's Ariodante, the last movement of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto played by Emil Gilels, and the scherzo from Dvorak's Piano Quintet, Op.81; the closing moments of Mozart's opera 'The Marriage of Figaro', and the end of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, as well as the opening movement of Bach's Double Concerto for two violins, played by David and Igor Oistrakh.