Father of chemical science in India

2019-08-02 Fri

Recognized as “Father of chemical science in India”, Prafulla Chandra Ray was an eminent Indian scientist, educationist, and Philanthropist. His work on the nitrites and hyponitrites of metals, especially mercury, earned him fame worldwide.

He was born today on 2nd August 1861, in the village of Raruli Katipara of Bengal Presidency. After obtaining his FA diploma from the University of Calcutta, he proceeded to the University of Edinburgh, in August 1882 at the age of 21, on a Gilchrist Scholarship where he completed his B.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees.

In 1901, he founded India's first pharmaceutical company, ‘Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd’. Gradually, the company expanded and became a leading chemicals and medicine producer. He also established the first Indian research school in chemistry.

Over the course of years, he studied many ancient texts on science and the result was the book ‘A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century’, published in 1902. Continuing his research, he published a second edition, six years later.

This eminent chemist was awarded several honorary doctorates which includes one from the ‘Durham University’ and ‘Dhaka University’. The pioneering chemist featured on 15 Paise commemorative postage stamp issued in 1961.

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