Elected: 1975
Discipline: Informatics, Mathematics and Statistics
Professor Henry Desmond Patterson FRSE
Henry Desmond Patterson, or Desmond as he preferred to be known, was born on July 17th, 1924, at Whitby, Yorkshire. His father was a policeman who previously served in Newry, Ireland, but transferred to Yorkshire in the face of threats from Republican activists.

He was educated at grammar schools in Yorkshire and won a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Leeds, even though his main interest was in mathematics. He graduated while the Second World War was in progress and because of his technical training was steered towards a scientific role, initially in air pollution. He worked for a year as Assistant Experimental Officer at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Fuel Research Station in Greenwich.

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