Life and work of University Emeritus Professor recognised by his brewing peers



A review of the life and work of Heriot-Watt Emeritus Professor Sir Geoff Palmer has been published in the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC).

The Good Samaritan is an essential part of equality and progressive education.

Professor Sir Geoffrey Palmer

In 1998 the ASBC awarded the then plain Professor Geoff Palmer with their Award of Distinction, described as the ‘Nobel Prize of the Brewing World'. It was made in recognition of his ‘exceptional contributions and long diligent service to brewing science, the brewing industry and the Society' and Professor Palmer was only the fourth ever recipient.

Now the ASBC Journal has published a lengthy article on the life and achievements of Sir Geoff, from his early days in Jamaica to the present day. It is a mix of personal recollections, professional meetings, academic discoveries and a wide range of publications. The coverage continues into his retirement and community works, including speaking widely on Scottish-Jamaican history, specifically in the context of the slave trade.

The coverage includes a range of honours bestowed, including an OBE and honorary degrees, as well as the naming of an Edinburgh pub after him (after which the establishment went rapidly downhill and had to be restored to its original title) and his knighthood in 2014.

Overall the story demonstrates a combination of personal ability, hard work and support from some key people along the way. Commenting on this support Professor Sir Geoffrey Palmer said, “The concept of the 'self-made man' did not apply to me. I had to be system conscious but the help I received from good people was an essential part of my life and work. The Good Samaritan is an essential part of equality and progressive education."