The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.
The following Old Shirburnians have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS):
Derman Guy Christopherson OBE Kt FRS (1915-2000) – engineer.
Attended Sherborne School (School House) 1928-1934.
Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, 24 March 1960:
Citation: Early came into prominence for his work on the application of relaxation methods to the solution of some differential equations of theoretical physics. During the war did valuable work on the effects of explosions on structures, and also contributed to the development of new explosive weapons. Distinguished since for his researches on plasticity, metal cutting, dynamic stresses and on fluid lubrication at very high pressures. All his work shows marked physical insight and mathematical facility.
Proposers: A.G. Pugsley; J.F. Baker; Richard V. Southwell; F.P. Bowden; D. Gabor; A.A. Griffith; L. Howarth.
Philip Kelland MA FRS (1808-1879) – mathematician.
Attended Sherborne School (dates unknown).
Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, 6 December 1838:
Citation: Revd. Philip Kelland MA Fellow and Tutor of Queens College Cambridge, and author of several papers on the Theory of Light and other branches of Physical Science, contained in Part II of Vol VI of the Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, being desirous of becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, we whose names are undersigned do hereby certify from our personal knowledge that we consider him worthy of that honor & as likely to prove an useful and valuable Member.
Proposers: W. Hopkins; George Fisher; W.H. Miller; G.B. Airy; George Peacock; Everard Home; Josh Bosworth; John J. Audubon; James D. Forbes; Edward Sabine; Baden Powell.
Lionel Alexander Bethune Pilkington (Alastair Pilkington) Kt FRS (1920 – 1995) – glass technologist.
Attended Sherborne School (Lyon House) 1933-1938.
Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, 20 March 1969:
Citation: For many years glass manufacturers have sought a method of making flat glass sheet that avoided the need to grind and polish it. In 1952 Alastair Pilkington conceived the idea of floating a continuous ribbon of glass on molten metal so that both surfaces would be truly flat. The development of the idea involved formidable difficulties at each stage of laboratory, pilot plant and commercial production. It was not until 1959 that the successful full-scale output was achieved. The use of an applied electromotive force avoided certain difficulties arising at the tin/glass interface and also enabled the characteristics of the glass to be changed by introducing different metallic ions at a rapid rate. Since then the process has been improved to give greater flexibility and different types of glass. It has now been licensed by every large plate glass manufacturer in the world. In this field Britain has an unchallenged supremacy. In all this Pilkington was the leader of the development teams and their success has been due largely to his ingenuity in overcoming difficulties and to his courage in sustaining a persistent effort over several years, without any assurance that ultimate success would be achieved.
Alan Mathison Turing OBE PhD FRS (1912-1954) – mathematician & computer scientist.
Attended Sherborne School (Westcott House) 1826-1931.
Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, 15 March 1951:
Citation: Distinguished for his contributions to mathematical logic. His papers on ‘Computable numbers’ in 1936 and following years in which he gave precise meaning to the notion of a ‘constructive process’ in terms of the abstract specification of a computing machine, have had a profound influence, first in mathematical logic in this and other countries (USA, USSR) by shewing the impossibility of solving certain problems such as Hilbert’s ‘Entscheidungs problem’; and secondly in the use and design of actual automatic computing machines on which he has worked since 1945.
Proposers: M.H.A. Newman (proposer); Bertrand Russell (seconder); J.H.C. Whitehead; W.V.D. Hodge; A.S. Besicovitch; A.E. Ingham; P. Hall; C.G. Darwin.
Alfred North Whitehead OM FRS (1861-1947) – mathematician & philosopher.
Attended Sherborne School (School House) 1875-1880).
Elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, 11 June 1903:
Citation: Fellow and Mathematical Lecturer of Trinity College, Cambridge. Author of A Treatise on Universal Algebra, with Applications (this Treatise received an honourable mention for the Lobatchewski Prize, 1900), and of the following Papers, among others: – ‘On the Motion of Viscous Incompressible Fluids’ (Quart. Journ., vol xxiii); ‘Second Approximations to Viscous Fluid Motion’ (ibid, vol. xxiii); ‘The Geodesic Geometry of surfaces in Non-Euclidian Space’ (Proc Lond. Math. Soc., vol. xxix); ‘Memoir on the Algebra of Symbolic Logic’ (Amer. Journ. Math., vol. xxiii).
Proposers: A.R. Forsyth; W. Burnside; Robert S. Ball; J.W.L. Gaisher; E.J. Routh; E.W. Hobson; A.E.H. Love; H.F. Baker; G.H. Darwin.
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