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In Memoriam: Professor Richard J. Eden

28 September 2021 Fellows

It is with great sadness that the College announces the death of one of its founding Fellows, Professor Richard J. Eden, at the age of 99.

Professor Eden received his Cambridge doctorate in 1951, under Paul Dirac and with tuition from Werner Heisenberg. He received the Smith’s Prize in 1949, and was first elected to a Fellowship at Clare College in 1951 when he became Clare’s Director of Studies in Mathematics. Richard went with his wife and children to the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study in 1954, and was subsequently a frequent visitor to universities and research centres in the US and Europe.

In 1974 he founded the Energy Research Group at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, and from 1982-89 was Professor of Energy Studies there. From 1974, he served on the UK Advisory Committee for Energy Conservation.

Richard was a founding Fellow of Clare Hall in 1966, and was later Vice-President of the College. He went on to publish a book on the College’s history in 2009.

Professor Malcolm Longair, Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall and co-author of the College’s 50th Anniversary book, comments:

‘Richard played a major role in the founding of Clare Hall. He drew up the plans for the College and persuaded Clare College of the importance of this initiative. The project was a great success, playing a key role in welcoming distinguished visitors to Cambridge from all over the world and particularly in somewhat more remote disciplines from those needed for college teaching purposes.’

Our thoughts are with Richard’s family at this difficult time.

The Eden family thanks everyone for their kind thoughts and messages. If you would like to make a donation to a charity of your choice in Richard’s name, these are most welcome. Please email for any queries.