The Archives Centre acquires its first scientist’s collection, the papers of A.V. Hill

A.V.Hill was born in Bristol in September 1886 and educated at Blundell’s School and Cambridge University.

During World War One he was appointed Captain in charge of the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section of the Ministry of Munitions Inventions Department. He went on to serve as Professor at various universities, including Manchester and University College. He was also Chairman, Executive Committee of National Physical Laboratory (1939-45).

He was also an attache to the British Embassy Washington (1940); an M.P. (Independent Conservative) Cambridge University (1940-5); Member of War Cabinet Scientific Advisory Committee (1940-6); and Scientific Adviser to Government of India (1943-4).

An outspoken critic of Hitler’s wartime persecution policies against Jewish and dissident scientists, Hill helped found the Academic Assistance Council (later called the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning) to assist refugee scientists.

Much of his work concerned the physiology of muscle, especially the observation and measurement of thermal changes associated with muscle function, was later extended to similar studies on the mechanism of the passage of nerve impulses. His research gave rise to an enthusiastic following in the field of biophysics, a subject whose growth owes much to him.

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