Science honour for lab
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