FLOWERS, Brian Hilton, Baron Flowers of Queen's Gate (b 1924)

Scope and Content

Papers of Brian Hilton Flowers, [1940]-1998, comprising biographical papers, including papers relating to his various appointments, honours and awards, 1958-1990; five notebooks relating to his undergraduate studies at Cambridge from the early 1940s; papers relating to science education and research; wider political interests such as the Suez Crisis of 1956, the entry of Britain into the Common Market in 1971; resignation from the Social Democratic Party, 1989; photographs of Flowers and colleagues; press cuttings illustrating his public profile, 1969-1981; papers relating to Flower's career at the University of Manchester, 1960-1967, the Science Research Council, Chancellor of the University, 1994-1997; notably correspondence and papers relating to University Grants Committee visits, the Physics Department Steering Committee, establishment of the Honours School of Liberal Studies in Science, office of Chancellor of the University of Manchester; research material comprising a notebook on pulse chambers, [1945-1950], copy of Flowers's DSc submission,1953; papers relating to speeches, lectures and broadcasts, comprising invitations, copies of public speeches, lectures, 1946-1995, including speeches and lectures given as Rector of Imperial College, London, 1973-1985; contributions to House of Lords debates, 1979-; lecture courses given at the University of Birmingham, 1950-1952; the University of Manchester, 1958-1967; broadcast material for BBC radio, 1957-1983; papers concerning publications, comprising correspondence and drafts, [1945-1985], relating to his books Properties of Matter and An introduction to numerical methods in C++, two unpublished books 'The Structure of Light Nuclei' and 'Group Theory and Nuclear Structure', 1950s; editorial papers, 1970s; publication offprints, [1945]-1990s; papers relating to societies and organisations, 1957-1998, notably papers relating to the Committee of Enquiry into the Organisation of the Academic Year, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Catching Up with European Higher Education Fund, the Hungarian Accreditation Committee; the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, 1958-1977; material relating to his chairmanship of the Computer Board for Universities and Research Councils, the National Physical Laboratory's Steering Committee, the House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology and the Nuffield Foundation; correspondence and papers relating to Pugwash Conferences, 1962-1967, Imperial College, University of London; correspondence covering a wide range of professional issues and more personal matters relating to colleagues, friends and family; day files, 1990-1997; correspondence with Jeremy William Bray MP, 1966; Lord Rothschild, 1970s-1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born Blackburn, Lancashire, 1924; educated at Bishop Gore Grammar School, Swansea; read physics and electronics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge; joined the Anglo-Canadian Atomic Energy Project in Canada, at the University of Montreal, 1944, and Chalk River, Ontario, 1945; joined the Nuclear Physics Division of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, 1946; working on the measurement of the thermal cross-section of tritium and devising a method of measuring the photodisintegration of the deuteron; transferred to the Theoretical Physics Division at Harwell, 1948, undertaking work on nuclear reactions; conducted research at the Department of Mathematical Physics, University of Birmingham, 1950-1952, working largely on problems of nuclear structure relating to the nuclear shell model, in collaboration with AR Edmonds; awarded a DSc by the University of Birmingham, 1953; Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at Harwell, 1952; Chief Research Scientist, 1958; Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Manchester, 1958; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1961; Langworthy Professor of Physics and Head of Department, 1961-1972; member of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy, 1962-1964, and Council for Scientific Policy, 1965-1967; Chairman of the Computer Board for Universities and Research Councils, 1966-1970; knighted, 1969; Chairman of the Science Research Council (SRC), 1967-1975, ensuring United Kingdom participation in the 300 GeV project at CERN and the SRC's establishment and development of the Engineering Board; Rector of Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, 1973-1985; President of the Institute of Physics, 1972-1974, and the European Science Foundation, 1974-1980; Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1973-1976, and the Standing Commission on Energy and the Environment, 1978-1981; life peer (Baron Flowers of Queen's Gate in the City of Westminster), 1979; founder member of the Social Democratic Party, 1981; front bench spokesman on issues relating to science, education, energy and the environment until 1989; Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, 1983-1985; Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, 1985-1990; Chairman of the Nuffield Foundation, 1987-1998; Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, 1989-1993; President of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, 1993-1997; Chancellor of the University of Manchester, 1994.

Publications: On the Fast Neutron Cross Sections, etc, (Harwell, 1949); Properties of Matter, (Wiley, Chichester,1970), with Eric Mendoza; An Introduction to Numerical Methods in C++, 1995; various articles for scientific periodicals.

Access Information

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, to the College Archives in 1998.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in the reading room of the College Archives (NCUACS catalogue no 76/5/98).

Conditions Governing Use

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Custodial History

The papers were received by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath, from Lord Flowers in 1995 and 1998, and from the University of Manchester in 1997.

Related Material

Imperial College Governing Body records (GB), held at Imperial College.