R. Norman Jones

Richard Norman Jones, OC, FRSC, scientist (born 20 March 1913 in Manchester, England; died 17 February 2001).

A British-educated specialist in infrared spectroscopy, which is used to study molecular structure, he retired from three decades of service with the National Research Council in Ottawa in 1978. Among his contributions was the use of computers to refine instrumented spectrometric information.

He was one of Canada’s most “international” scientists, giving lectures and working on committees across the academic world. He developed strong links with Japanese colleagues and was a guest professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology from 1979 to 1982 and again in 1985–86. He was also a distinguished visitor at the University of Alberta in 1983 and adjunct professor at Queen’s University in 1984. Jones returned to the University of Alberta as guest scientist in 1992. Having an interest in history, he wrote illuminatingly on the origins and evolution of vibrational spectroscopy, and his publications total over 200 titles. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.