Professor John Melvin Swan

John Melvin Swan, AO, FAA, FTSE

John Melvin Swan

Elected in 1968

Short citation at year of election

Swan is distinguished for the breadth, depth and versatility of the contributions he has made to synthetic organic chemistry. Initially these related to amino acids and peptides but later concentrated on the sulphur chemistry of proteins. With the emphasis on wool and its behaviour, Swan has explored the chemistry of the disulphide cross-links and reactive thiol groups and, inter alia, developed the method of oxidative sulphitolysis of disulphide bonds. This work led on to studies of the chemistry of a wide range of organo-sulphur compounds. His more recent activities have broken new ground in the fields of organophosphorus chemistry, including the discovery of a novel type of organophosphorus insecticide, and of organo¬≠metallic (mainly organo-zirconium) and coordination chemistry. 

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