Sir Martin Onslow Forster obtained his PhD (1892) from the University of Wurzburg, Germany; and DSc from the University of London, UK. His area of specialization was Industrial Chemistry. He was Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Royal College of Science, South Kensington (1902-13); Director, British Dyes Limited (1915-18); Prime Warden, Worshipful Company of Dyers (1919-20); Director, Salter’s Institute of Industrial Chemistry (1918-22); and Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1922-23).
Academic and Research Achievements: Forster was a pioneer in industrial chemistry to which he made significant contributions. He was essentially an experimentalist. He developed a method for preparation of dinitro - ? - naphthylamine and made important contributions to studies in the comphane series.
Other Contributions: A great organizer and administrator, Forster was responsible for reforming the administration of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, based on a report of the committee Sir William Pope headed. His directorship marked an eventful era in the history of the Institute, with the starting of new courses (e.g. Communication Engineering) and fresh lines of research. He was Convocation Member, Senate of University of London. Also the journal Current Science owes its inception largely to his foresight.
Awards and Honours: Forster received Longstaff Medal of Royal Society, London (1918) and Chemical Society (London). He was a Fellow of Royal Society, London; Chemical Society (London); and Royal Institute of Chemistry (London) (Vice-President, 1908-11, 1915-18). He was Member of British Association for the Advancement of Science (President, Chemistry Section, 1921); General President of Indian Science Congress Association (1925); and was Knighted (1933).