Sushil Kumar Mukherjee obtained his DSc (1945) from University of Calcutta specializing in physical chemistry, soil science and agricultural chemistry. Mukherjee served as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Kalyani (1960-70); Acharya PC Ray Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science, Calcutta University (1965-68); Director, Bose Institute, Kolkata (1976); and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calcutta (1976-78).
Academic and Research Achievements: Mukherjee’s research has spanned varied fields: ion-exhange equilibria of clay mineral-electrolyte systems; colloid chemistry of clay minerals; membrane electrodes and ionic activity measurements; macromolecular properties of natural humus and its characterization by means of viscometric measurements; synthetic humic and fulvic acids and their comparison with natural products; and clay-organic matter interaction in soil. His work on clay membrane electrodes and resin membrane electrodes has been widely appreciated.
Other Contributions: UNESCO Consultant, University teaching in Chemistry and Agriculture (1957-60); Member, Cabinet Committee on Science and Technology (Government of India) (1968), National Commission on Agriculture (1970-75); Vice-Chairman, Commission of Compilation of History of Sciences in India, Member, Eastern India Wasteland Development Board, Steering Committee on Bio-fertilizers of DBT; Member, Advisory Board on Environment, Government of West Bengal; Chairman, West Bengal Phytochemical and Pharmaceutical Development Corporation and Member, INSA Council (1988-90). He co-authored two books: Text Book on Soil Science and Laboratory Methods in Chromosome Studies; served as member of editorial boards of: Journal of the Indian Chemical Society (1950-57), Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Indian Journal of History of Science (1986-92), and Everyman’s Science.
Awards and Honours: Mukherjee received the JB Chatterjee Memorial Medal, School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta (1980); JC Ghosh Medal, Indian Chemical Society (1987); Golden Jubilee Award, Indian Society of Soil Science (1984); Silver Jubilee Commemoration Medal, INSA (1988); Platinum Jubilee Lecture, Indian Science Congress (1990); Dr BC Ray Birth Centenary Oration Award (1992); Tagore Memorial Lecture, IIT, Kharagpur (1993); Tamhane Memorial Lecture, Indian Society of Soil Science; Baradananda Chatterjee Memorial Lecture, Bengal Engineering College; RP Mitra Memorial Lecture, University of Delhi. He as conferred DSc (hc) of University of Kalyani and Burdwan. He is a Fellow, Indian Chemical Society (Secretary, 1950-57); Member, Indian Society of Soil Science (sometime Secretary) and Agricultural Society of India; Honorary Member, Indian Photobiology Society (President, 1977-80); President, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science; Vice-President, Asiatic Society; President, West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology; Honorary Member, International Society of Soil Science (1990) (first Indian to have received this recognition).