DAVIES, RICHARD OWEN (1894 - 1962), scientist and professor of agricultural chemistry

Name: Richard Owen Davies

Date of birth: 1894

Date of death: 1962

Spouse: Dinah Myfanwy Davies (née Evans)

Parent: Owen Davies

Gender: Male

Occupation: scientist and professor of agricultural chemistry

Area of activity: Education; Nature and Agriculture; Science and Mathematics

Author: Melfyn Richard Williams

Born in Ganllwyd, near Dolgellau, Merionethshire, 25 May 1894, son of Owen Davies, Congl. minister, and his wife. He was educated at Dolgellau grammar school and the University College, Aberystwyth, where he obtained an M.Sc. degree in 1916. After five years as an industrial chemist with the Nobel Explosives Co., he was appointed assistant lecturer in agricultural chemistry at his old college, and lecturer in 1925. As a fellow of the Guild of Graduates of the University he studied nutritional problems in north America, and in 1939 he was appointed advisory chemist and head of the department of agricultural chemistry at University College, Aberystwyth. He had wide experience in teaching both college and extramural students, and could lecture with ease in both English and Welsh.

He was treasurer of the committee for coin- ing words for the first Welsh agricultural magazine, Gwyddor Gwlad, which was published on behalf of the Welsh agricultural section of the Guild of Graduates of the University of Wales (1952-63). He was one of the first contributors to the journal, and often broadcast on ’ Rural science ’ for schools and on ’ The Farmers World ’ between 1935 and 1951. His researches dealt with problems relating to grassland and dairying, and he co-operated with the Welsh Plant Breeding Station. His articles appeared in a number of technical journals, and he wrote Elfennau Cemeg (1937), a chemistry textbook for schools. He was dean of the faculty of science (1950-51) and was appointed professor of agricultural chemistry in 1954, and retired with the rank of professor emeritus of the University of Wales in 1959. He served as external examiner in agricultural chemistry for the Institute of Chemistry from 1944 to 1954. He died 25 February 1962 and was buried in the public cemetery, Aberystwyth. He married in June 1929 Dinah Myfanwy, daughter of James Evans, Mydroilyn, Llannarth. She died 15 March, within a few weeks of her 100th birthday on 10 April 1987.

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