Sci­ence honour for lab

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ @JMacD1988

AFORMER lab­o­ra­tory in Widnes where a lifesaving in­ven­tion was made has been named among the top 10 places in the sci­ence and dis­cov­ery cat­e­gory of a pub­lic body’s cam­paign which recog­nises Eng­land’s his­tory.

The former Im­pe­rial Chem­i­cals In­dus­tries (ICI) Chem­i­cals lab where anaes­thetic halothane was in­vented has been named by Pro­fes­sor Robert Win­ston for His­toric Eng­land’s cam­paign Ir­re­place­able: A His­tory Of Eng­land In 100 Places.

The Widnes ICI lab was where in 1951 the chemist Dr Charles Suck­ling first syn­the­sised the non-flammable in­hala­tion anaes­thetic called halothane which rev­o­lu­tionised surgery and the phar­ma­col­ogy of anaes­thet­ics.

Phased out for use on hu­mans in the 1980s, its in­ven­tion and use rep­re­sents the im­por­tance of the chem­i­cal in­dus­try to Eng­land’s his­tory.

Pro­fes­sor Win­ston, pic­tured, who has judged the sci­ence and dis­cov­ery cat­e­gory, is the first ex­pert judge in His­toric Eng­land’s cam­paign, from a panel in­clud­ing Mary Beard, Ge­orge Clarke and David Olu­soga, who will choose 10 places from a long list of nom­i­na­tions.

The year-long ini­tia­tive aims to find the 100 places which best tell Eng­land’s re­mark­able story and its im­pact on the world.

All 10 places picked by Pro­fes­sor Win­ston will be ex­plored in a new pod­cast se­ries and at the end of the pro­ject a book will be pub­lished by His­toric Eng­land.

His­toric Eng­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Dun­can Wil­son said: “These re­mark­able 10 places, care­fully cho­sen by one of our ex­pert judges, Pro­fes­sor Lord Robert Win­ston, demon­strate that Eng­land has had a long tra­di­tion of meet­ing chal­lenges and find­ing cre­ative so­lu­tions to prob­lems of world­wide sig­nif­i­cance.

“Many of the in­ven­tions and dis­cov­er­ies in this list have changed the world and re­mind us how re­gions across Eng­land have bro­ken new ground.

“It’s vi­tal that we re­mem­ber these places and events as an in­spi­ra­tion to con­tin­u­ing our na­tional tra­di­tion of ex­per­i­ment­ing, in­vent­ing and cre­at­ing.”

Mark Hews is group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal which is spon­sor­ing the cam­paign.

He said: “Dis­cov­ery has been a tra­di­tion of the Bri­tish peo­ple across many gen­er­a­tions, mov­ing us from the realms of ‘magic’ to the rev­e­la­tion of sci­ence.

“Bri­tish in­no­va­tion con­tin­ues to take us for­ward, also touch­ing our abil­ity to un­der­stand, main­tain and con­serve these iconic, ir­re­place­able places.”

A patch of park­land off Castle­fields Av­enue East in Run­corn where homes could be built as part of Keep­moat’s Lake­side scheme

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