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BADGER, Geoffrey Malcolm, AO (1916 - 2002)

BADGER, Sir Geoffrey Malcolm AO (1916 - 2002)

G M Badger circa 1958.

G M Badger circa 1958.

Sir Geoffrey Malcolm Badger was a noted scientist born at Port Augusta, South Australia. His parents were John McDougall Badger, a former secretary of the Federal Woollen Mills, Geelong and Laura May nee Brooker.

After moving to Geelong, Victoria at the age of four, he first attended North Geelong State School. Initially, a boarder, he became a day student at the College attending from 1927 to 1931. While at College he did well at chemistry and attributed his science teacher Roy Lamble with considerable influence in his education. After leaving the College he first studied at the Gordon Institute of Technology for three years completing a Diploma of Industrial Chemistry before moving to Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. At the University of Melbourne he completed his BSc and then proceeded to honours work and a research project under the guidance of Professor Bill Davies. In 1938 he moved to London to complete a PhD working on synthetic substances that produced or inhibited cancers.

After completing this work in 1941 he moved to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in Manchester and married that same year. The young couple remained in Manchester for the next three years until 1943 when he enlisted in the Royal Navy where he was appointed as a temporary instructor lieutenant teaching coastal and astrononmical navigation to new recruits. At the end of the war in 1946 he gained a research scholarship with ICI but in 1949 returned to Australia following his appointment as senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Adelaide. He became Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1955. In a notable scientific career he became the Chairman, Australian Science and Technology Council in 1974 and Vice-Chancellor, University of Adelaide from 1967 to about 1977. In 1975, he was awarded the Order of Australia 'for distinguished service of a high degree in the field of university administration, education and science’ . His brother, Hugh Gibson Badger (1921-2011) also attended the College from 1930 to 1939.

In 2011, Geoffrey Badger was inducted into the Old Geelong Collegians' Association (OGCA) Notables Gallery.

Sources: Ad Astra 1959 Ad Astra Sept, 1974; Interview (edited extract), 1999 by Prof R W Crompton for Video Histories of Australian Scientists published at www. educatioo/gb.htm by the Australian Academy of Science.
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