Elected FRS 1967
Sir Alwyn Williams was distinguished as a geologist and palaeontologist and as a university administrator. His PhD investigation of a classic area of his native Wales led to a lifetime of research on the rocks of the Ordovician System, and on fossil and living brachiopods. He became an international authority in both fields, with his original contributions and his organization of multiauthored syntheses. He pioneered the application of electron microscopy to palaeontology using observations on living representatives to inform his interpretation of the fossils. He maintained an active research programme during a remarkable career as a university leader, guiding the University of Glasgow through government restructuring of university finances in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was determined, decisive and eloquent in his promotion of the ideals of university education.