• Title
    Sir Norman Wright Collection
  • Reference
    D MS1252
  • Production date
    1936 - 1953
  • Creator
  • Creator History
    Sir Norman Charles Wright, (1900–1970), agricultural and nutritional scientist, was born in Reading on 19 February 1900, the second son of the Revd Francis Henry Wright, registrar of the University of Reading, and his second wife, Agnes Mary Dunkley. He was educated at Christ Church choir school, Oxford. From University College, Reading, he gained a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained a fourth class in chemistry and physiology in 1922. As a Ministry of Agriculture research scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, he obtained a PhD in 1925. He proceeded to an Oxford DSc in 1937. At both universities he won a college oar, which could be seen on the walls of his homes. From 1924 to 1926 he was a research assistant at the National Institute for Research in Dairying at Shinfield, Reading; the next two years were spent as a Commonwealth Fund fellow in the United States—first at Cornell University, New York, and later, in the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC. On his return to Britain in 1928 Wright was appointed physiologist to the newly established Hannah Dairy Research Institute, Ayr, and two years later, at the early age of thirty, became its first director. While at Hannah, in 1928, Wright married Janet Robison Ledingham, eldest daughter of Dr John Rennie of Aberdeen University. They had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth. In 1936–7 Wright advised the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research in India on the development of the Indian beef and dairy industries. In 1945 he was special adviser to the government of Ceylon. In 1944–5 he was a member of the Anglo-American Scientific Mission to the Middle East Supply Centre and in 1946 was British member of the first United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) mission to Greece. In 1947 Wright succeeded Sir Jack C. Drummond as chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Food; later he became chief scientific adviser (food) of the merged Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a post which he held until he was invited to become deputy director-general of the FAO, based in Rome, in 1959. He chaired the Food Standards Committee from 1947 to 1959 and the National Food Survey Committee from 1948 to 1959. In those functions he developed an extensive knowledge of agricultural and food sciences, nutrition, and social and economic sciences. He also chaired or served on many other committees and councils, including the Agricultural Research Council (1950–55) and the Colonial Research Council (1950–54). He was successively chairman, vice-chairman, and a member of the committee for colonial agricultural animal health and forestry research from 1946 to 1959. He was chairman of the FAO programme committee in Rome from 1953 to 1959. Wright stayed with the FAO at their headquarters in Rome until 1963 when he returned to London and became for five years secretary of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the first honorary president of the British Dietetic Association (from 1963 to 1969) and addressed the association on food and the future. He became a member of the UN advisory committee on the application of science and technology to development in 1964 and of the council of the British Nutrition Foundation and of the Nestlé Foundation in 1967, holding all three appointments until his death. Wright was appointed CB in 1955, knighted in 1963, and received the honorary degree of LLD from the University of Leeds in 1967. He was severely red–green colour blind and in spite of an apparently strong physique he suffered much from spinal trouble. His chief recreations were travel and photography. Many of his photographs were added to the pictorial archives of the Royal Borough of Kensington. He also enjoyed playing the piano. He died on 16 July 1970 at his home in Kensington, London.
  • Scope and Content
    Correspondence and other papers relating to the visit of Sir Norman Wright to the Middle East 1944 - 1947; Note books 1944-1947; Reports 1944-1947; Map 1943; Photographs 1944-1945; Graphs 1953; Telegrams 1944; Blue prints of farm buildings c. 1944; Newscuttings 1947
  • Extent
    51 files
  • Physical description
    type: ARC
  • Language
  • Level of description
  • Content Subject
  • Conditions governing access